Sunday, August 30, 2009

Brothers of the Same Family

This morning as I read Hebrews 2:5-18, I was struck by how Jesus, the Son of God, who is the effulgence of God's own eternal glory, so gladly emptied himself to take up our cause before his Father. In a true familial solidarity far surpassing the utopian ideals imagined by Marx and others, in his incarnation and baptism Jesus bound up himself with sinful, enslaved, derelict mankind, even calling us "brothers," and suffered the agonies of temptation, rejection, shame, and death so that we might be set free from fear, death, deception, and futility and share in his place of glory and love as co-sons and co-regents before the Father.

A beautiful 15th-century Latin hymn, "O Love, How Deep" (author unknown, translated by Benjamin Webb), captures this story well.

O love, how deep, how broad, how high,
It fills the heart with ecstasy,
That God, the Son of God, should take
Our mortal form for mortals’ sake!

He sent no angel to our race
Of higher or of lower place,
But wore the robe of human frame
Himself, and to this lost world came.

For us baptized, for us He bore
His holy fast and hungered sore,
For us temptation sharp He knew;
For us the tempter overthrew.

For us He prayed; for us He taught;
For us His daily works He wrought;
By words and signs and actions thus
Still seeking not Himself, but us.

For us to wicked men betrayed,
Scourged, mocked, in purple robe arrayed,
He bore the shameful cross and death,
For us gave up His dying breath.

For us He rose from death again;
For us He went on high to reign;
For us He sent His Spirit here,
To guide, to strengthen, and to cheer.

To Him Whose boundless love has won
Salvation for us through His Son,
To God the Father, glory be
Both now and through eternity.

1 comment:

Halfmom said...

a lovely hymn