the general musings of a bookworm

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Far as the Curse is Found

Joy to the World has always been my favorite Christmas carol (even though to be technical, it was originally written to refer to Christ’s second coming). It epitomizes what Christmas should be and contains a great reminder of the redemption that Jesus Christ is/will be bringing. Joel Belz wrote about this several years ago in WORLD (a Christian news magazine).  After complaining about the brokenness of such things as the U.S. government & FBI, education & the health care system, he reminds us that all failure ultimately originated from the fall.

How much else is similarly broken? Pick just about any venue, and as far as you’re able to look, you’ll almost certainly discover the depressing results of the fall. That’s the kind of people we are. That’s how profoundly the curse on our misbehavior reaches into our daily lives. Even some of the things we used to think we did fairly well lie in the rubbish heap of disillusionment.

Yet however far that list of brokenness extends, it’s never any longer than the reach of God’s mercy. Those of us at WORLD, because we try faithfully to reflect what’s happening every week on this wobbly globe, have to tell you about a lot of bad news and pitifully out-of-order efforts to deal with all that ugliness. But we never want to do that without also pointing clearly to a sovereign God who “comes to make His blessings flow,” as Isaac Watts reminded us almost 300 years ago, as “far as the curse is found.”

The next time you see something that’s broken, or not working as well as you think it should or wish it did, let it be God’s reminder that such brokenness is nothing but a yardstick of how far His goodness will ultimately reach.

Copyright © 2011 WORLD Magazine
December 23, 2006, Vol. 21, No. 49

As the subtitle of the article states, “All brokenness is just a yardstick for the blessings of God.”   With the second coming of Christ, we know that both the spiritual and physical effects of the fall will finally be eradicated.  Christmas is a time of joy and thankfulness: looking back upon what Christ has already accomplished (making possible a relationship between God and man) and looking forward to what is still in his plan–the redemption of our fallen world.

Joy to the world, the Lord is come!
Let earth receive her King;
Let every heart prepare Him room,
And Heaven and nature sing,
And Heaven and nature sing,
And Heaven, and Heaven, and nature sing.

Joy to the earth, the Savior reigns!
Let men their songs employ;
While fields and floods, rocks, hills and plains
Repeat the sounding joy,
Repeat the sounding joy,
Repeat, repeat, the sounding joy.

No more let sins and sorrows grow,
Nor thorns infest the ground;
He comes to make His blessings flow
Far as the curse is found,
Far as the curse is found,
Far as, far as, the curse is found.

He rules the world with truth and grace,
And makes the nations prove
The glories of His righteousness,
And wonders of His love,
And wonders of His love,
And wonders, wonders, of His love.
(Isaac Watts, 1719)

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!  May God bless you, every one!


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The Falling Man

The Falling Man by Richard Drew

Image: Richard Drew

I had never heard of this infamous photograph, The Falling Man, until just this week. Apparently it has been widely banned and condemned. While I have utmost sympathy for those that lost loved ones in the attacks on September 11, 2001; I don’t think it should be hidden from the public. We need to be reminded of that day and its horrors.

Journalist Tom Junod wrote a masterful column on the photograph in 2003. The entire article is poignant, but this quote brought tears to my eyes.

Is Jonathan Briley the Falling Man? He might be. But maybe he didn’t jump from the window as a betrayal of love or because he lost hope. Maybe he jumped to fulfill the terms of a miracle. Maybe he jumped to come home to his family. Maybe he didn’t jump at all, because no one can jump into the arms of God.

Oh, no. You have to fall.

Here’s the rest of the article.
Disclaimer: I’m recommending only the article. I do not endorse/recommend Esquire.

May God bless America.