This hymn of the week expresses brilliantly the reality of being a Christian, and the reality of understanding more of the Bible, and more of God – there is so much that I cannot work out, but a few things I can confidently assert. It also sums up a blog post I was trying to write as an introduction to a series coming up on issues that Christians really should be prepared to say “I cannot tell” to one degree or other, and what part of those issues should get a ringing “But this I know.”
- I cannot tell why He, whom angels worship,
Should set His love upon the sons of men,
Or why, as Shepherd, He should seek the wand’rers,
To bring them back, they know not how or when.
But this I know, that He was born of Mary,
When Bethl’hem’s manger was His only home,
And that He lived at Nazareth and labored,
And so the Savior, Savior of the world, is come.
- I cannot tell how silently He suffered,
As with His peace He graced this place of tears,
Or how His heart upon the Cross was broken,
The crown of pain to three and thirty years.
But this I know, He heals the broken-hearted,
And stays our sin, and calms our lurking fear,
And lifts the burden from the heavy laden,
For yet the Savior, Savior of the world, is here.
- I cannot tell how He will win the nations,
How He will claim His earthly heritage,
How satisfy the needs and aspirations
Of east and west, of sinner and of sage.
But this I know, all flesh shall see His glory,
And He shall reap the harvest He has sown,
And some glad day His sun shall shine in splendor
When He the Savior, Savior of the world, is known.
- I cannot tell how all the lands shall worship,
When, at His bidding, every storm is stilled,
Or who can say how great the jubilation
When all the hearts of men with love are filled.
But this I know, the skies will thrill with rapture,
And myriad, myriad human voices sing,
And earth to heaven, and heaven to earth, will answer:
At last the Savior, Savior of the world, is King.
Those verses some up perfectly the good that we are holding on to in the journey (remember Sam and Frodo in Lord of the Rings?), however hard it gets, however painful now there can be a participation in this good ending.
A final question. I’d be really interested to know the answer to this: In your life journey what issues in your faith have you become less confident that you “know” the answer, and what have you become more confident of?