Tuesday, 7 April 2009

Holy Week

Where to start??

This evening is our 'community worship' - which sets out to be different from Sunday worship, hopefully a bit easier 'entry' and possibly appealing to a different group of people (you'll notice lots of 'possibly & hopefully' going on there!).

I've decided to focus the service on George Herbert - inspired by his poem 'agony' (see posting RevGalBlogPal below).
As I found out more about George Herbert I thought it was worth reflecting on his life & work: someone who gave up political ambition & wordly success to follow God's will, someone whose ministry lasted only 3 years, and yet someone who left a wonderful legacy - seemed like a good source of reflection for Holy Week.
Plus his writing is truly inspiring Here;s another one I'll use tonight:


I cannot ope mine eyes,
But thou art ready there to catch
My morning-soul and sacrifice:
Then we must needs for that day make a match.

My God, what is a heart?
Silver, or gold, or precious stone,
Or star, or rainbow, or a part
Of all these things, or all of them in one?

My God, what is a heart,
That thou shouldst it so eye, and woo,
Pouring upon it all thy art,
As if that thou hadst nothing else to do?

Indeed man's whole estate
Amounts (and richly) to serve thee:
He did not heav'n and earth create,
Yet studies them, not him by whom they be.

Teach me thy love to know;
That this new light, which now I see,
May both the work and workman show:
Then by a sunbeam I will climb to thee.

Reading around some critical reflections, the thinking is that the 'sunbeam' is a deliberate pun: on 'son beam' - the beam of the cross holding Jesus christ, the son. We could just spend an hour thinking about that!
I think I'll also use 'Easter Wings'. There's a really helpful analysis at www.helium.com/items/492218-poetry-analysis-easter-wings-by-george-herbert

Lord, Who createdst man in wealth and store,
Though foolishly he lost the same,
Decaying more and more,
Till he became
Most poore:

With Thee
O let me rise,
As larks, harmoniously,
And sing this day Thy victories:
Then shall the fall further the flight in me.

My tender age in sorrow did beginne;
And still with sicknesses and shame
Thou didst so punish sinne,
That I became
Most thinne.

With Thee
Let me combine,
And feel this day Thy victorie;
For, if I imp my wing on Thine,
Affliction shall advance the flight in me.

I think I could become a George Herbert bore!

Meanwhile - Maundy Thursday is largely done - a Seder meal and (first time for me) stripping of the altar. I'll post the liturgy I intend to use for the stripping but Seder meal is not on my computer, unfortunately. I'm very lucky to have a Jewish member of our congregation who can take us through the Seder & then I step in to celebrate communion & let people see the connections between the Last Supper and the Lord's Supper.

Good Friday is not my responsibility this year - which is a little sad in a way, but certainly takes the pressure off and I'm looking forward to being able to go & just worship for once!

And then Easter Sunday - post to follow!

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