27 September 2010

The Shock of Human History

All flesh is grass,
and all its beauty is like the flower of the field.
The grass withers, the flower fades
when the breath of the LORD blows on it;
surely the people are grass.
The grass withers, the flower fades,
but the word of our God will stand forever. (Isa. 40:6-8)
Isaiah contrasts human 'flesh' with the divine 'word.' Flesh falters, the word abides. Absolute antithesis.

In John 1:14, however, expounding the mystery of the incarnation, the two are overlaid--'The word became flesh and dwelt among us.' (HT: Martin Hengel, p. 269 of this book)

C. S. Lewis called the incarnation 'the humiliation of myth into fact, of God into Man.' He wrote: 'what is everywhere and always, imageless and ineffable, only to be glimpsed in dream and symbol and the acted poetry of ritual becomes small, solid--no bigger than a man who can lie asleep in a rowing boat on the Lake of Galilee.' ('Is Theology Poetry?' in The Weight of Glory, 99-100)


Anonymous said...

I heard one say yesterday...that God took on flesh, not as we might, for a season, for a brief time, as we might "bear with" others...but that He bears flesh still. That...is love unfathomable.

Anonymous said...


Martha :-)