“Unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.” – John 12:24
“The last enemy to be destroyed is death...Death is swallowed up in victory.” – 1 Corinthians 15:26, 54
"The greater the sin, the greater the mercy, the deeper the death and the brighter the rebirth.” - C. S. Lewis
"This story...has the very taste of primary truth." - J. R. R. Tolkien

Friday, July 31, 2009

John Adams: “Rejoice Evermore!”

…There is beautiful and bittersweet scene at the end of HBO’s John Adams miniseries in which Adams exemplifies this theme of “sorrowful, yet always rejoicing.” Adams’ life, although filled with great accomplishments for the nation, was filled with heartbreak and tragedy. Adams disowns his son, who dies an alcoholic; later his daughter dies of cancer. Towards the end of his own life, Adams wanders the cornfields with his son Thomas, who has remained faithful to him in the midst of his losses. He says this:

“Still, still I am not weary of life. Strangely. I have hope. You take away hope and what remains? What pleasures? I have seen a queen of France with eighteen million livres of diamonds on her person, but I declare that all the charms of her face and figure, added to all the glitter of her jewels, did not impress me as much as that little shrub. [pointing with his walking stick to a small white flower in the field] Now my mother always said that I never delighted enough in the mundane, but now I find that if I look at even the smallest thing, my imagination begins to roam the Milky Way. Rejoice evermore. Rejoice Evermore! It’s a phrase from St. Paul, you fool! REJOICE EVERMORE! I wish that had always been in my heart and on my tongue. I am filled with an irresistible impulse to fall on my knees right here in admiration.”

3 comments:

  1. That is a beautiful quote. I saw the conclusion of the outstanding HBO production last night on Australian television. When taken out of context, the quote lacks substance, but when seen in the appropriate context, as was the case in the well documented HBO production and also in your post, it reflects the profound simplicity and unfathomable depth of a life ruled by wisdom; our 'crown' in this life is 'hope', the substance of which is faith; we are indeed "more than conquerors".

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  2. Do you think that perhaps that John's conviction from drifiting away from the true knowledge of God caught up to Him and softend His heart there in that vivid moment...?

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  3. Hmm, I don't really know, I'm not sure how he related to God in earlier years, but it does seem that something softened his heart in that moment. Maybe there's more on this in the book? (I haven't read it.)

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