It was my privilege to speak to the graduates of Tyndale University College and Seminary in Toronto, and Bethel Seminary in St. Paul MN at their graduations.
I asked the graduates, rhetorically, what they were going to be … then suggested to them
you are going to be a poem!
Following are a few excerpts. The full address, slightly shortened, is on our web site
Charles Williams was a profound English thinker, writer, essayist, novelist, theologian, and poet of the last century. He was also a close friend of C. S. Lewis and J. R. R. Tolkien. On his tombstone are chiseled the simple words:
CHARLES WILLIAMS: POET
Williams saw life as a poem. For him
God is the poet
the world, past and present, is the poem
the facts of our lives are the words
and the intent of God’s poetry is to show “the pattern of the glory”
BUT CHARLES WILLIAMS WAS NOT THE FIRST TO SEE GOD AS A POET
Centuries before Paul is writing to the first followers of Christ in Ephesus. He tells them in soaring language how God had chosen them from eternity, made them alive with Christ, saved them by grace, made Jews and Gentiles one in the body of Christ, and was making them part of God’s beautiful new building.
Then he exclaims
We are God’s workmanship …literally … We are God’s poetry!
For the word he uses is “poiema” – from which we get our English “poem.”
We are God’s “workmanship”, his work of art, his “poem” he says … created in Christ
Jesus to do good works , which God prepared in advance for us to do.
And since in the order of Paul’s sentence “God” comes first what he is saying is
God’s poem are we!
As a friend once wrote to me, “Remember, God really is God, he’s not applying for the job!”
We are not self-made people. God is the poet. We are his poetry!
(NOTE: If you think you don’t rhyme right .. read the rest on the web site! Leighton)