"The sweetest thing in all my life has been the longing —
to reach the Mountain, to find the place where all the beauty came from —
my country, the place where I ought to have been born. Do you think it all meant nothing,
all the longing? The longing for home? For indeed it now feels not like going, but like going back."

~C.S. Lewis

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Saved by beauty

I suppose this document needs a bit of explanation, lest you open the link and become irreparably scarred by the shock of 50 pages of text staring you in the face. Actually, if you read the introduction (which you may get to) and the conclusion (which would be remarkable if you got to), it would explain it a bit, but I will summarize here.

What began as a simple homework assignment to write an essay on the nature of salvation turned into an explanation of so much that is important to mebeauty, longing, glory, radiance, joy. I use these terms a great deal in this blog and in my daily life, but perhaps few know how deep their meanings run and how far their implications spread. In perhaps a rather over-dramatic sense, as I say at the end of the essay, I wrote it to try to answer the question, "If I had to explain to someone who I was and what I believed, at my very core, what would I say?"

It is not a very traditional essay (and perhaps easier read if you click "Download Original" in the upper righthand corner of the GoogleDoc). Although much was written specifically for this essay, great parts of it are compiled from essays I've written throughout my college years, quotes from my favorite books, and even excerpts from my own journal. My prayer is that, by the end, I will have succeeded in sharing at least some small sense of the splendor and wonder of living in the land of my King.

Saved by Beauty: The Theology of Kingdom Redemption

Thursday, December 15, 2011

The wanderer's prayer

All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost.
From the ashes a fire shall be woken,
A light from the shadows shall spring;
Renewed shall be blade that was broken,
The crownless again shall be king.

~J. R. R. Tolkien

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Cantique de Noël: A direct translation of "O Holy Night"

This is a direct translation from French of the song, "O Holy Night." I love it this way... it is exquisitely beautiful.

Cantique de Noël

Midnight, Christians, it's the solemn hour,
When the God-man descended to us
To erase the stain of original sin
And to end the wrath of His Father.
The entire world thrills with hope
On this night that gives it a Savior.

People kneel down, wait for your deliverance.
Christmas, Christmas, here is the Redeemer,
Christmas, Christmas, here is the Redeemer!

The ardent light of our Faith,
Guides us all to the cradle of the infant,
As in ancient times a brilliant star
Conducted the Magi there from the orient.
The King of kings was born in a humble manger;
O mighty ones of today, proud of your grandeur,

It is to your pride that God preaches.
Bow your heads before the Redeemer!
Bow your heads before the Redeemer!

The Redeemer has overcome every obstacle:
The Earth is free, and Heaven is open.
He sees a brother where there was only a slave,
Love unites those that iron had chained.
Who will tell Him of our gratitude,
For all of us He is born, He suffers and dies.