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 can speak,
And not a god has wounds, but Thou alone.
This poem was written by Edward Shillito who was a minister and a chaplain during the First World War. He was born in 1872 and died in 1948 which means he lived through the Second World War, as well. I’m sure this poem brought solace to many during both those trying times, as it still can for us today in our current trials. (As an old Army wife, the current distressing situation in Afghanistan comes to mind.) Remember why Jesus came. And if you don’t know, well, it was to save us from ourselves. Jesus was True God and True Man and he suffered, died, was buried, and rose again on the 3rd day. He, a short time later, after appearing to His closest followers and some others, ascended into Heaven and sits at the right hand of His Heavenly Father, and ours now, as well.
Christ followers believe these basic truths and we believe that the Love that brought about Jesus’ decision to faithfully fulfill God’s will to save us is unending, as is His mercy. Jesus still bears the scars of evil, even though He did not deserve them. All those terrible things were allowed to happen so that Love could win. In the end, Jesus is our Victor and so we, too, are victorious over sin and death. We are God’s adopted sons and daughters. We are children of the Light! And everyone can be! That’s the most amazing part of the plan. It’s not a private club that only those who are “in the know” can join. We are all parts of the Body of Christ. To know Him is to love Him and to be forever joined with this Jesus of the Scars. Jesus was literally “willing to march into hell for a Heavenly cause.” Though, unlike the “Man From La Mancha” there is no unbeatable foe for Jesus, no star He cannot reach because He made the stars.
There may be a battle between good and evil going on out there. But it’s not even a question as to which ‘side’ wins. The all Good God has defeated death for us by taking it and all our sins upon Himself, and then rising gloriously from the dead to show us the way to everlasting life. It isn’t an easy road. It’s a road full of sorrow and sacrifice, but that suffering and those battles are all for the good of the other, all for love and life! The end of the story is really only the beginning! It’s all up to us. Choose life. Choose love. And remember that even in the darkest night and in the worst storms, there isn’t any place we can go that Jesus hasn’t been and He is right there with us. He will bring us home if we’ll trust and follow His lead…
The grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with each one of us. Amen.