February 27, 2006

George Herbert

Category: Communion of Saints — Micah @ 12:00 am

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Good day, and welcome to Communion of Saints from stjeromeschapel.org. I’m your host, Micah Jackson. Today is February 27th, 2006: the feast of Blessed George Herbert.

In 17th century terms, George Herbert had it made. His family was very wealthy, and politically connected. Showing the beginnings of the independent streak that would distinguish him later, he associated himself with some people who were out of favor with the King. Nevertheless, when Herbert was ordained in 1626, King Charles made sure he had a good placement as the rector of two parishes.

The Scripture appointed for today is Psalm 23, that beautiful reassuring poem of God’s love. It’s a great choice, really, because it is as a poet that George Herbert rose above his family connections, his political favor, his wealth, and everything else. His collection of poems, The Temple, is his most famous, but because Ash Wednesday is only a couple of days away, I thought I would read just the last two stanzas of his poem about Lent.

Who goeth in the way which Christ hath gone,
Is much more sure to meet with him, than one
That travelleth by-ways:
Perhaps my God, though he be far before,
May turn and take me by the hand, and more:
May strengthen my decays.

Yet Lord instruct us to improve our fast
By starving sin and taking such repast,
As may our faults control:
That ev’ry man may revel at his door,
Not in his parlour; banqueting the poor,
And among those his soul.

George Herbert once wrote, “Nothing is little in God’s service.” His skill as a poet is anything but little, but the simple way he went about his life of humble service as a priest and poet, made his great poetry even greater.

Let us pray: Our God and King, you called your servant George Herbert from the pursuit of worldly honors to be a pastor of souls, a poet, and a priest in your temple: Give us grace, we pray, joyfully to perform the tasks you give us to do, knowing that nothing is menial or common that is done for your sake; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Thank you for listening to Communion of Saints. Please join us on March 1st at stjeromeschapel.org for the feast of Blessed David. I’m Micah Jackson. May God be with you.

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