Two days into Lent, I am serving this noon-time at St. John's on a day when we commemorate an English priest named George Herbert. Besides serving as a vicar and then rector, Herbert was a poet. This sample, posted at satucket.com/lectionary grabbed my attention, particularly as I pay attention to what is in my heart this Lenten season, and strive to live in a place where I see the Christ in all who I encounter, including my enemies.
Love bade me welcome: yet my soul drew back,
guilty of dust and sin. But quicked-ey'd Love, Observing me grow slack
from my first entrance in, Drew near to me, sweetly questioning,
if I lack'd any thing.
A guest, I answer'd, worthy to be here:
Love said, You should be he. I the unkinde, engrateful? ah my deare,
I can not look on thee. Love took my hand, and smiling did reply,
Who made the eyes but I?
Truth Lord, but I hav marr'd them: let my shame
go where it doth deserve. And know you not, sayes Love, who bore the blame?
My deare, then I will serve. You must sit down, sayes love, and taste my meat:
So I did sit and eat.
Glory to God on High And on earth Peace good will toward man.
George Herbert (1595-1633)
I can not achieve my Lenten goal until I fully accept that Love accepts and embraces me as a guest. God has known me and loved me so completely. The only one keeping the scorecard that says I'm not worthy is me. On this day, and each day, may I sit down and feast on the meat of faith... and know that is given to me in perfect love and perfect trust, so that I may have everlasting life.