I was arrested by the subtle theology of the “Chapels” (Welsh Protestant nonconformity churches, particularly, Presbyterian, or, “Calvinistic Methodist”) in the poetry of Dylan Thomas (1914-1953). In “Fern Hill,” the Swansea bard recorded his thoughts with, now, famous, lyrical lines from Mumbles Road:Under the new made clouds And happy as the heart was long,
In the sun born over and over,
I ran my heedless ways.
“. . . The sun born over and over.” What a line. It is resurrection revealed in the very heavens that witnesses the poet’s work as he writes. How very glorious and, yet, how very familiar. Here is the ethereal, JMW Turner-like “Angel-Standing-in-the-Sun”-theology-of-the-resurrection hidden in the homily of the chapel minister in his torn, plain, coal-black preaching gown. The preacher squints from the sun as he announces forgiveness from the aged pulpit on Sunday morning in Llanelli.
“. . . The sun born over and over” gives perpetual hope to Thomas the ruined Prodigal Son who ran his “heedless ways.”
Surely, Dylan Thomas needed such sublime spiritual comfort. And so do I. You do, as well. We all need God’s sun born over and over.
The Promise of perrenial forgiveness through Jesus Christ the Righteous remains a daily hope for reconciliation and for reaching towards a new goal in life. The Promise mends. The Promise inspires. This doctrine is a foretaste of resurrection unto eternal life.
“If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.”—2 Corinthians. 5.17
“. . . The sun born over and over.”
Thank you, Lord. Thank you Lord for Jesus Christ, our Sun of Righteousness born into our hearts that we might be born again.