Christ plays in ten thousand places…

September 2, 2006


Once in a while I come across another Eugene Peterson article I don’t expect. Before today, I’ve never read this article from the Christian Century (November 2003). I figure it was written about the time Peterson began his multi-volume work on Spiritual Theology, the first of which bears a title borrowed from a line from this Gerald Manley Hopkin’s sonnet:

As kingfishers catch fire, dragonflies draw flame;
As tumbled over rim in roundy wells
Stones ring; like each tucked string tells, each hung
Bow swung finds tongue to fling out broad its name;
Each mortal thing does one thing and the same:
Deals out that being indoors each one dwells;
Selves—goes itself; myself it speaks and spells,
Crying What I do is me: for that I came.

I say more: the just man justices;
Keeps grace: that keeps all his goings graces;
Acts in God’s eye what in God’s eye he is—
Christ—for Christ plays in ten thousand places,
Lovely in limbs, and lovely in eyes not his
To the Father through the features of men’s faces.

This article is classic Peterson. I’ll be ruminating over it in the next while. Integrity. Congruence. Spirituality. Congregation. Scripture. Worship. His usual pointed and cutting shot at American (and, Canadian too!) consumerism in churches. All these words, thoughts and themes weaved into a definition (or rather a beautiful canvas of words) of what it means to be contemplative.

There’s so much for me to take from this article. From being pastor, to leading minsitry, to worship, to scripture…to my relationships. “Don’t rush,” is what I hear. “Don’t sell out the gospel.”


One Response to “Christ plays in ten thousand places…”

  1. m said

    I’m currently working through EP’s “Eat This Book.” His writing and thinking is so rich that I have to read him over and over again to get what he’s trying to say. I like his take on what it looks like to submit to Scripture, which I should be reading, if not more, than at least more consistently.

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