Saturday, February 27, 2021

Herbert: Prayer, the Church's banquet

Saturday, February 27, 2021
    Feast of George Herbert, Priest, Poet, 1633
    On this mountain the LORD Almighty will prepare a feast of rich food for all peoples, a banquet of aged wine—the best of meats and the finest of wines. On this mountain he will destroy the shroud that enfolds all peoples, the sheet that covers all nations; he will swallow up death forever. The Sovereign LORD will wipe away the tears from all faces; he will remove the disgrace of his people from all the earth. The LORD has spoken.
    —Isaiah 25:6-8 (NIV)
Prayer, the Church’s banquet, Angel’s age,
    God’s breath in man returning to his birth,
    The soul in paraphrase, heart in pilgrimage,
The Christian plummet sounding heav’n and earth;

Engine against th’ Almighty, sinner’s tower,
    Reversed thunder, Christ-side-piercing spear,
    The six days world-transposing in an hour,
A kind of tune, which all things hear and fear;

Softnesse, and peace, and joy, and love, and bliss,
    Exalted Manna, gladness of the best,
Heaven in ordinary, man well dressed,
    The milky way, the bird of Paradise,

    Church-bells beyond the stars heard, the soul’s blood,
    The land of spices, something understood.
    ... George Herbert (1593-1633), The Poetical Works of George Herbert, New York: D. Appleton, 1857, p. 61 (see the book)
    See also Isa. 25:6-8; John 3:3; 19:34; Eph. 3:4-6; Col. 1:25-27
Quiet time reflection:
    Lord, You have made Yourself known to us.

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