Wordsworth wrote an endless poem in blank verse on” the growth of a poet’s mind.” I shall attempt a more modest feat for a more distracted age: a blog, “Things which a Lifetime of Trying to Be a Poet has Taught Me.”
Last week we looked at the testimony of humanity to the truth of the Gospel. This week, in pursuit of corroborating testimony, we shall put the angels on the stand.
On the evidence of two or three witnesses every matter shall be confirmed (Deut. 19:15b).
And suddenly an angel of the Lord stood before them and the glory of the Lord shone round about them, and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, “Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which shall be to all people. For unto you this day in the City of David is born a Savior, who is Christ, the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you: you will find the baby wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly hosts, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth, peace, good will toward men” (Luke 2:9-14).
It was revealed to [the prophets] that they were not serving themselves, but you, in these things which now have been announced to you through those who preached the Gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven—things into which angels long to look (1 Pet. 1:12).
We were the first of all His thoughts to live
And know ourselves as living in His Mind,
And that was all the world we’d ever known.
Pure thought He made us, and to each would give
Great visions of rare creatures he’d designed.
The strangest? Thought conjoined with flesh and bone.
We took it as a kind of abstract game,
An intellectual and eternal dance.
Imagine then our wonder and delight
When He spoke, and the whole expanding frame
Of space unfolded ‘round us, and, entranced,
We saw the ideas made and loved the sight!
Then, more than that, He gave us jobs to do
And, as we shared His thoughts, we shared His work:
To form our dance of ideas into things.
As swift as thought at His behest we flew,
Taking the light He’d made into the mirk
Of space and time, the light itself our wings.
Not all of us together knew it all.
According to our stature He would share
With each some insight, but the larger plan
Remained a source of wonder. Still, one small
World of all we made was our chief care,
For there He made His masterpiece: the Man.
Though we were pure intelligence, we caught
So little of the grandeur of His Mind!
He’d brought forth thought in us; we’d seen Him bring
Forth space-time filled with things beyond our thought;
But we thought nothing that He did outshined
His strange idea of Man, a thinking thing.
But then the whole plan seemed to go awry.
Our brother Lucifer loved the mastery
Of things more than he did the One who gave
It to us, and his thought became a lie.
And then, when Adam joined him at the Tree,
Our joy fell into dust, into the grave.
We thought it was the end, but we were wrong,
For then, the greatest marvel! How we long
To look into it still—we raced to sing
The “Gloria!”—if we’d thought the strangest thing
Was thinking flesh, then what else could we say
About that Baby lying in the hay?
Remember: for more poetry like this, go to https://lanternhollow.wordpress.com/store/ and order Stars Through the Clouds! Also look for Inklings of Reality and Reflections from Plato’s Cave, Williams’ newest books from Lantern Hollow Press: Evangelical essays in pursuit of Truth, Goodness, and Beauty. And look for Williams’ very latest book, Deeper Magic: The Theology behind the Writings of C. S. Lewis, due out Sept. 30, 2016, from Square Halo Books!
Donald T. Williams, PhD