in medias res

October 28, 2007

cottage.jpg

I was overcome with hope today during the last 20 minutes of corporate worship.  After a solemn message provoking my sensitivities regarding war, I wept as Christ (in and through His Body) proclaimed, again, the final word: We’ll join in singing with all the redeemed, Satan is vanquished and Jesus is King.For now, we feel so deeply what it is to be in the middle of things.  And in this place (in the middle), I think Chesterton is right:

What we need is not the old acceptance of the world as a compromise, but some way in which we can heartily hate and heartily love it.  We do not want joy and anger to neutralize each other and produce a surly contentment; we want a fiercer delight and fiercer discontent.  We have to see the universe at once as an ogre’s castle, to be stormed, and yet as our own cottage, to which we can return at evening.

And so it should be – this life of ours – in between the “ought” and the “is” …

But living so veritably – so earnestly and truly – amidst two irreconcilable realities (both of them pressing-in) is an elusive practice for me.  (Most days, I feel “surly content” … not “fiercer delight and fiercer discontent.”)

Not this day.  In the presence of my own deep consternation … in the presence of Christ’s incarnate community, (alas) the train did wreck.  And the universe was an ogre’s castle and our very own cottage come evening.  Where – save in the community of faith – does such perfect paradox find expression?

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One Response to “in medias res”


  1. this post is beautiful. especially that last line.


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