Here is a poem by W.H. Auden followed by an exert from a sermon by The Archbishop of Canterbury.
It’s great poem and sermon. A good reminder about how we are isolated from others and God and how autonomy does this.
The answer being “That we might know Jesus Christ, and in knowing Jesus Christ work for the healing of the world, from the bottom up, through the power of the one who shares our pain and suffers for us, and calls us to find our meaning not in finding our own way, but through following him.“He is the Way.”
Here’s the poem.
Follow Him through the Land of Unlikeness;
You will see rare beasts, and have unique adventures.
He is the Truth.
Seek Him in the Kingdom of Anxiety;
You will come to a great city that has expected your return for years.
He is the Life.
Love Him in the World of the Flesh;
And at your marriage all its occasions shall dance for joy.”
― W.H. Auden,
Here is a link to the Archbishop of Canterbury’s complete sermon. I have only included in my post the final part of the sermon. The whole sermon is worth a read. The Archbishop weaves W.H. Auden’s poem nicely into this message of hope in Jesus.
Archbishop: Jesus ‘opens the door to a new life’
Sunday 18th October 2015
Jesus offers us a life “fuller than we can imagine” the Archbishop of Canterbury said in this sermon at St Aldates, Oxford.
John 14, 1-7
“In the 21st century we don’t really understand freedom. For we imagine that freedom is the ability or capacity to do whatever we want. This is why we prize our autonomy so highly, and regard any curtailing of our ‘right’ to choose as a flagrant attack on our freedom. But Christian faith says something different. It says that the way to true life and living is found in following the way of Jesus Christ.
Jesus offers us this gift of belonging to something far bigger than ourselves. It takes from us the burden of having to work out how we should live on our own in a cold, dark world. Instead we come to learn from him, to trust him, to submit to him – knowing that this one we come to loves us and has the best way for us. To do what Jesus requires is always the best thing anyone can ever do at any point in their lives. It is to join a celebration of life, to be fully human when we love Him in the World of the Flesh, to be challenged beyond what we can imagine
In all this Jesus invites us to a completely different way of seeing things and experiencing things rather than just hit all the balls back to us that we serve – thinking they are all aces – with what we think are highly sophisticated arguments against faith in the 21st century.
Rather than ourselves and our own objections and questions being central, he asks us to answer his questions, his objections and his perspective on our lives and our 21st century thinking.
And I think we find in the light of this our needs are different than we first thought. Our greatest problem is not our limitations or our mortality. Our greatest problem is our isolation.
We are isolated from each other and from God. Autonomy does that.
This has always been our greatest problem,
The point of faith in the 21st century is the same as faith in the fifteenth century as it was in the fourth century. That we might know Jesus Christ, and in knowing Jesus Christ work for the healing of the world, from the bottom up, through the power of the one who shares our pain and suffers for us, and calls us to find our meaning not in finding our own way, but through following him.
And tonight, amongst us, there comes this Jesus. Inviting each one of us to come to him, to receive rest for our weary souls, and to learn his ways of grace and life, life that is fuller than we can imagine, where “all its occasions shall dance for joy”.
Accept that invitation. I’ve no idea where it will lead. Pursue it, it opens a door to a new life, one most utterly suitable for the 21st century.