Here is an unpublished poem by D.A. Carson, which he read during his talk on the incarnation at the Next Conference.

The Prologue

Before there was a universe,

Before a star or planet,

When time had still not yet begun —

I scarcely understand it —

Th’ eternal Word was with his God,

God’s very Self-Expression;

Th’ eternal Word was God himself —

And God had planned redemption.

The Word became our flesh and blood —

The stuff of his creation —

The Word was God, the Word was flesh,

Astounding incarnation!

But when he came to visit us,

We did not recognize him.

Although we owed him everything

We haughtily despised him.

In days gone by God showed himself

In grace and truth to Moses;

But in the Word of God made flesh

Their climax he discloses.

For grace and truth in fullness came

And showed the Father’s glory

When Jesus donned our flesh and died:

This is the gospel story.

All who delighted in his name,

All those who did receive him,

All who by grace were born of God,

All who in truth believed him —

To them he gave a stunning right:

Becoming God’s dear children!

Here will I stay in grateful trust;

Here will I fix my vision.

Before there was a universe,

Before a star or planet,

When time had still not yet begun —

I scarcely understand it —

Th’ eternal Word was with his God,

God’s very Self-Expression;

Th’ eternal Word was God himself —

And God had planned redemption.

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4 thoughts on “A Poem by D.A. Carson on the Incarnation of Christ”

  1. Joseph Mancuso says:

    Brilliant and beautiful! I would love to see this turned into a song/hymn. I’d listen to it over and over again.

  2. Tara says:

    That’s gorgeous. It’s not actually technically a sonnet (doesn’t have 14 lines, all with 10 syllables each, usually written in iambic pentameter, with any of the specified rhyme schemes possible for sonnets, and a twist in the last three lines)…but it’s absolutely gorgeous. I agree – it would be really cool as a hymn! :-)

  3. Chaka says:

    I’d also call that a hymn instead of a sonnet (the 8 syllable/7 syllable pattern is like a lot of hymns, e.g., Come, Thou Fount).

    Sound like a job for Indelible Grace.

  4. Beat Attitude says:

    It’s good, but more for the truth of what it shares rather than the poetry which is a little weak at times. I agree that it would make a good hymn, with perhaps a few tweaks to clarify or amplify the meaning.

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Justin Taylor


Justin Taylor is senior vice president and publisher for books at Crossway and blogs at Between Two Worlds. You can follow him on Twitter.

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