* Note to My Readers: Due to the busyness of the next month and a half, I'm making a few minor changes to my schedule of posting. All posts will continue to be made daily and will consist of material that has not appeared before on this blog. However, because my time will be taken up by my final thesis defense for my Master of Church History degree and by a trip to the Holy Land, several of my ongoing series will be on hold until May.

- On Wednesdays, I'll be posting some of my original poems from my college years, and then in May my "Evangeliad" poems will resume.

- On Thursdays, my series on "How to Be Miserable in Your Christian Life" will wrap up by the end of March. That will conclude that series for now; however, if you enjoyed it, please let me know, because I may add more to it at some later point.

- And on Fridays, my "Glimpses of Grace" series will be on hiatus until May. In the meantime, it will be replaced with a serialized, unpublished novella that I wrote back in 2005, "Worth It All." Beginning in the first week of May, "Glimpses of Grace" will return, this time in the Thursday slot, and a newly-composed adventure novel will be posted on Fridays.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

"Stricken, Smitten, and Afflicted," by Thomas Kelly

Here in Holy Week, the busyness of my ministerial duties hasn't given me much time for poetry. So, in lieu of one of my own poems, I offer something better: a tremendous hymn of reflection on the Crucifixion, unfortunately not often sung anymore (at least not in my experience in American evangelicalism). It was penned in 1804 by the Irish clergyman Thomas Kelly (1769-1855). A sung version by Fernando Ortega can be heard here. May its words lead you deeper into awe at the mystery of our salvation.

 Stricken, Smitten, and Afflicted

Stricken, smitten, and afflicted, 
See him dying on the tree!
This is Christ, by man rejected; 
Here, my soul, your Savior see.
He’s the long expected prophet, 
David’s son, yet David’s Lord.
Proofs I see sufficient of it: 
He’s the true and faithful Word.

Tell me, all who hear him groaning, 
Was there ever grief like this?
Friends through fear his cause disowning, 
Foes insulting his distress;
Many hands were raised to wound him, 
None would intervene to save;
But the deepest stroke that pierced him 
Was the stroke that Justice gave.

You who think of sin but lightly 
Nor suppose the evil great
Here may view its nature rightly, 
Here its guilt may estimate.
Mark the sacrifice appointed; 
See who bears the awful load;
It’s the Word, the Lord’s Anointed, 
Son of Man and Son of God.

Here we have a firm foundation; 
Here the refuge of the lost;
Christ, the rock of our salvation, 
His the name of which we boast.
Lamb of God, for sinners wounded, 
Sacrifice to cancel guilt!
None shall ever be confounded 
Who on him their hope have built.

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