Written by Gene Edwards, the Divine Romance is an incredible lyrical retelling
of Creation, the Fall, the Crucifixion, and the Resurrection. Its title
is its theme. Edwards views all aspects of history through the eyes of
a God passionately in love with his creation, longing to be loved in return.
The result is heart-shattering.
The story starts before Creation, a portent for Edwards style of stretching
the last bounds of our imagination, overwhelming us with the awesomeness
of God. We are given a picture of the limitless One who then limits himself
into time and the heavenly places. His purpose is made clear on the second
page: God will have a counterpart upon whom love can be poured out, and
from whom love will be received. Everything he does is with this purpose
alone as his motive and his goal.
Edwards spends Part One on the creation of man and then that of woman,
and we watch this picture of the Lord God and his own bride, who has not
yet been revealed. We hear Gods heart cry out for someone to love,
and see him plan what qualities his own Eve will have.
Part Two is spent with the nation of Israel, first in the wilderness,
and then throughout the rest of their history of turning to idols and
other nations, and then back toward their God. Prophets are sent and ignored
or killed. God cries out through Hosea and Ezekiel to his betrothed Jerusalem,
and finally, when the time is perfect, he arrives at a little town in
Part Three finds Jesus, the carpenter, fully God, yet fully man. He has
victory over temptation, defeating Satan. He raises the dead, defeating
Death itself. And then we are introduced to a young girl, once possessed
by demons, and a whore, but now a devoted and loving follower of Jesus.
We watch as he is crucified, and suddenly, through Edwards style,
it is evident how powerful and final it was.
Part Four is the victory. Such joy that comes forth at the resurrection!
And suddenly, we see for the first time, the bride of Christ begin to
come forth. The Final Act, for this is written as though we were watching
a play, leaves us with a feeling of incompleteness, but only in the sense
that the bride and her bridegroom are not yet to be wed. The time is coming,
however, with both crying out Come!
To say that this is a book worth reading would be an understatement. It
gives such a picture of the love of God, and his desire for us as his
church, that it changes and breaks the molds of religion and habit. It
is challenging intellectually, but it is even more heart-provoking, calling
us to see God as a lover, a husband, wooing his church to himself.