Tuesday, 30 May 2017

Jesus of the Scars

This poem by Edward Shillito was first published in Jesus of the Scars, and Other Poems, a volume that appeared shortly after World War 1.
If we have never sought, we seek Thee now;
      Thine eyes burn through the dark, our only stars;
We must have sight of thorn-pricks on Thy brow;
      We must have Thee, O Jesus of the Scars.

The heavens frighten us; they are too calm;
      In all the universe we have no place.
Our wounds are hurting us; where is the balm?
      Lord Jesus, by Thy Scars, we claim Thy grace.

If, when the doors are shut, Thou drawest near,
      Only reveal those hands, that side of Thine;
We know to-day what wounds are, have no fear,
      Show us Thy Scars, we know the countersign.

The other gods were strong; but Thou wast weak;
      They rode, but Thou didst stumble to a throne;
But to our wounds only God’s wounds speak;
      And not a god has wounds, but Thou alone.

Cited in William Temple, Readings in St. John’s Gospel (London: Macmillan, 1949), 385; John Stott, The Cross of Christ (Leicester: IVP, 1986), 337; D. A. Carson, How Long, O Lord? Reflections on Suffering and Evil, 2nd ed. (Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 2006), 170; Frederick Dale Bruner, The Gospel of John: A Commentary (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2012), 1175.