Sunday, December 25, 2016

Amy Grant, G K Chesterton, and Augustine

Earlier today, NPR ran an interview with Amy Grant, playing a song which she had recently written and recorded.  It had to do with the loneliness she (and lots of other people) encounter at Christmas, no matter whether they are with family and friends on that day.  Grant commented on that lyric and specifically mentioned how she missed her Mom.

Yah, well, Grant is on to something there, but she's not exactly the first.  Back about 1500 years ago, St Augustine famously remarked 'You have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our hearts are restless until they rest in you.'

Then along came G. K. Chesterton, with a different take on the same matter:

...For men are homesick in their homes,
And strangers under the sun,
And they lay on their heads in a foreign land
Whenever the day is done.
Here we have battle and blazing eyes,
And chance and honour and high surprise,
But our homes are under miraculous skies
Where the yule tale was begun....

...To an open house in the evening
Home shall men come,
To an older place than Eden
And a taller town than Rome.
To the end of the way of the wandering star,
To the things that cannot be and that are,
To the place where God was homeless
And all men are at home

So, yes, there is a place:

And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.  (Rev. 21:4)

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