‘The Great Reversal’ – a poem by Kester Brewin

Walking with the crowds,
Carried along by the pressing forward.
Each one eager to get ahead,
but each one starting the same – born as a baby and from then on
struggling towards meaning, power and influence.
Be someone,
Be remembered,
Make a big impression;
leave some indelible mark in your 3 score years and 10.

From birth, a struggle to find eternity, to burst through life
with such dazzling intensity that everyone will remember forever.
But walking the other way, pick out a route against the crowds,
a solitary figure passes me,…passes all of us – all straining away innocence, to be someone and he passes us, a quiet chaos in the crowd.

Christ, eternal, omniscient, creator, beyond time, source of wisdom, and beyond petty claims of influence… in very nature God, slips into reverse and walks back past us – away from Kingship, away from power, away from influence, away from eternity, away from wisdom, towards infancy.
Calmly stepping into the body of a tiny child.

And even as this baby grows, figuring out how to control the body he has himself designed, he still walks the other way, realising that life cannot be found in the struggle for permanence, but in giving it up.

This Great Reversal subverts me. Tired of pressing forward, I realise I need to turn, for what I have been searching for has just walked past me the other way.

* from ‘The Complex Christ’ by Kester Brewin (SPCK) 2004

About Jon Kuhrt

Jon Kuhrt works with people affected by homelessness, offending and addictions at the West London Mission. He, his wife and three children are part of Streatham Baptist Church and he is a member of the Christians on the Left. He likes football...but loves cricket.
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