Daily Word of Grace # 34 (May 1, 2020)
One of my favorite Shakespearean monologues is in his tragedy Macbeth, when Macbeth, having succumbed to his murderous ambition reflects: “Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow, creeps in this petty pace from day to day, to the last syllable of recorded time; and all our yesterdays have lighted fools the way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle! Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player that struts and frets his hour upon the stage, and then is heard no more. It is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing” (The Tragedy of Macbeth, V.v.19-28). Why would I like such a dark and nihilistic monologue? Not only because it is one of the high water marks of Shakespeare’s genius, but also because it shows us our need for something that transcends our own (hopefully not murderous) ambition, and reveals our need for the gospel of God’s love in Jesus Christ. Yes “all our yesterdays have lighted fools the way to dusty death” but Jesus Christ, the Light of the World (John 8:12), walked the way to his own dusty death on Good Friday in the midst of the “sound and fury” of a murderously ambitious world. In his death and resurrection Jesus transforms our “dusty death” to new life. That is the heart of the gospel. While some may dismiss the gospel as “a tale told by an idiot…signifying nothing” it is actually the good news of the never-ending love of God that will indeed last “to the last syllable of recorded time” and beyond. When the “brief candle” of your life is over and the curtain has fallen upon your “hour upon the stage”, God’s love ensures you a place in heaven, where “they need no light of lamp or sun, for the Lord God will be their light” (Revelation 22:5).
Love and Prayers,