Friday, November 19, 2010

Packaging Jesus

The problem, when trying to re-package Jesus, or even package Him at all, is to find some sort of wrapping that is more enticing, more attractive, more beautiful, more delightful, more glorious than Himself.

If you can, then you are "selling" the wrong Jesus.

If you can't, then it is better to leave Him unpackaged, as any packaging will appear (and be!) tawdry  in comparison.

Fair are the meadows, fairer still the woodlands,
Robed in the blooming garb of spring;
Jesus is fairer, Jesus is purer,
Who makes the woeful heart to sing.

Fair is the sunshine, Fairer still the moonlight,
And all the twinkling starry host;
Jesus shines brighter, Jesus shines purer
Than all the angels heaven can boast.

--from "Fairest Lord Jesus", a hymn Protestants used to sing

UPDATE/CLARIFICATION:  I love this hymn!  Well, most of it.  I quote it not as an example of trying to package Jesus, but in contradistinction to that.


Anam Cara said...

I think they still sing it.....

Cha said...

They do still sing it. But it has nothing to do with what Jesus looks like (packaging, as you say), rather it has everything to do with who Jesus is. Look at the hymn in its entirety - this Orthodox Christian still sings it (from time to time) in good conscience.

William Weedon said...

It's actually a translation of a Roman Catholic hymn of Eucharistic adoration (intended to be sung before the reserved Sacrament). It first appeared in the German Roman Catholic Muenster Gesangbuch of 1677.

Anastasia Theodoridis said...


Yes, but the ones who are trying to re-package Jesus don't sing it.


Full agreement that the hymn is fine; I've been singing the first 3 verses of it all morning. I should have clarified that I quoted it to reinforce my main point: that nothing is as wonderful, as glorious, as attractive, as Jesus Himself; hence, to "package" Him is to shroud His glory.

Anastasia Theodoridis said...

Okay, I've updated the post to make clear that I'm not saying "Fairest Lord Jesus" is an example of packaging Jesus. Instead, my intention is to use Protestants' own words to show why that need not, indeed cannot, be done.

Kacie said...

I still sing that one!
And another good one - Meekness and Majesty

Meekness and majesty
Manhood and Deity
In perfect harmony
The Man who is God
Lord of eternity
Dwells in humanity
Kneels in humility
And washes our feet

O what a mystery
Meekness and majesty
Bow down and worship
For this is your God
This is your God

Father's pure radiance
Perfect in innocence
Yet learns obedience
To death on a cross
Suffering to give us life
Conquering through sacrifice
And as they crucify
Prays: 'Father forgive.'

Wisdom unsearchable
God the invisible
Love indestructible
In frailty appears
Lord of infinity
Stooping so tenderly
Lifts our humanity
To the heights of His throne

Anastasia Theodoridis said...

Kacie, I agree, that's a keeper!