The scene opens on the ancient grounds of Camp Pragmatics where newly arrived recruits stand uniformed and ready before Drill Sargeant Joe Lamech Skull, now in the middle of Company 666‘s morning drill.
O Love that came down from heaven
Of Your glory I have glimpsed
Tides of mercy as you raise me
Even now to dwell with Thee.
Draw my eyes from worldy idols
So my sight is clear and free
To behold Your holy radiance
And always only worship Thee.
Wondrous, gracious are Your works, Lord
These I ponder with delight
Trusting, finding grace sufficient
As I daily walk with Thee.
Bread of Heaven, feed me ever
In Your kingdom as I am
Granted riches from Your table
Heavenly food from Your dear hand.
“I never had a mother,” Emily Dickinson wrote. “I suppose a mother is one to whom you hurry when you are troubled.” But where mothers fail, God never fails. His is a mother’s touch that is always ready to receive, ready to lift and comfort, ready to provide what is needed. “Can a woman forget her nursing child, that she should have no compassion on the son of her womb? Even these may forget, yet I will not forget you” (Is. 49:15).
Matthew 16:26/Mark 8:36/Luke 9:25 For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul?
Of C. S. Lewis’s The Space Trilogy, my favorite for mostly personal reasons is Perelandra. The plot unfolds around a newly formed planet, loosely modeled after Venus, undergoing an Edenic beginning with a man and a woman and a multitude of new creations. Into this is sent Elwin Ransom, the protagonist from earth, charged by God (Maledil) with the mission of thwarting the attempts of Satan (Black Archon) to tempt the newly created Queen to rebel against Maledil and bring about a Fall, the agent of which is another man from earth, the staunch materialist Professor Weston who becomes a demoniac.
I’m not certain what Italian movie director Franco Zeffirelli was thinking when, in Jesus of Nazareth, he had Mary weaving on a loom in the moments just prior to her betrothal ceremony. No doubt he wanted to separate Mary from every other girl of her time, indeed all time, who would anxiously be checking every last detail of her appearance before presenting herself to her beloved, not to mention the entire village gathered together for the celebration. All eyes would be upon her, the center of attention.
I was very young and it had taken a leap of faith and all my savings to buy it, but I did. It came packaged in a big shiny white box and an enticing rainbow apple with a chunk bitten out, and when I brought it home that morning, I was met with disbelief and scorn.