In the musical Show Boat there is a song titled, “Old Man River.” Our post-modern sensibilities prevent the singing of this 1920’s number, but there is a great truth conveyed in its lyrics. Old Man River is Ecclesiastes on the Mississippi. Joe is the Preacher turned stevedore.
Here is a bit of that song…
Ol’ Man River,
Dat Ol’ Man River,
He mus’ know sumpin’,
But don’ say nothin’;
He jes’ keeps rollin’,
He keeps on rollin’ along.
I think that the River represents God, the permanent I AM; and the silence of God is both reassuring and troubling for Joe. I get that same divided feeling when I read stories like this:
Taking Christ out of Christianity
From Saturday’s Globe and Mail
March 22, 2008 at 12:38 AM EDT
That triumphal barnburner of an Easter hymn, Jesus Christ Has Risen Today – Hallelujah, this morning will rock the walls of Toronto’s West Hill United Church as it will in most Christian churches across the country.
But at West Hill on the faith’s holiest day, it will be done with a huge difference. The words “Jesus Christ” will be excised from what the congregation sings and replaced with “Glorious hope.”
Thus, it will be hope that is declared to be resurrected – an expression of renewal of optimism and the human spirit – but not Jesus, contrary to Christianity’s central tenet about the return to life on Easter morning of the crucified divine son of God.
Generally speaking, no divine anybody makes an appearance in West Hill’s Sunday service liturgy.
That is simply terrible, but God is not stepping into history again and crushing this particular enemy under His feet. And this can be a bit disconcerting at times. I mean, how long oh Lord do we have to suffer the “Reverend” Gretta Vosper? When will foolishness like this end?
But, God’s silence can also be very reassuring. There is a reason for her continued “ministry.” This is not some cosmic mistake by God, overlooking a dangerous woman. His silence is not ignorance, but confidence. She has been answered and will be answered in the future. Not by me but by the One she denies!
Then I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse! The one sitting on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he judges and makes war. His eyes are like a flame of fire, and on his head are many diadems, and he has a name written that no one knows but himself. He is clothed in a robe dipped in blood, and the name by which he is called is The Word of God. And the armies of heaven, arrayed in fine linen, white and pure, were following him on white horses. From his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations, and he will rule them with a rod of iron. He will tread the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God the Almighty. On his robe and on his thigh he has a name written, King of kings and Lord of lords.
He must know sumpin… I will trust Him
al sends (HT: HotAir.com)