By Pastor Jeff Jacobs
Unity Lutheran Parish – St. Paul, Saetersdal and St. Matthew’s, Granger
One of my favorite poets is George Herbert, who is commemorated in the Lutheran church on the date of his death, March 1, 1633. He was born April 3, 1593, in Montgomery, Wales, into an aristocratic family. In 1609 he began studies at Trinity College, Cambridge, where in 1616 he became a lecturer, then eventually became a member of Parliament in 1624.
Yet not long afterward Herbert took steps toward becoming an Anglican deacon, and in 1629 he was ordained a priest and began serving two small parishes near Salisbury, England. Never being in good health, unfortunately, George Herbert died only four years later.
But one of his great legacies is a collection of poetry he had privately worked on for years, which his friend Nicholas Ferrar published after his death, titling it The Temple. I share one of the first works in that volume, which you’ll see is a “shape” poem, a common literary device of the time, visually portraying its content. May it enhance your Lenten reflection.
A broken ALTAR, Lord, thy servant rears,
Made of a heart, and cemented with tears:
Whose parts are as thy hand did frame;
No workman’s tool hath touch’d the same.
A H E A R T alone
Is such a stone,
As nothing but
Thy power doth cut.
Wherefore each part
Of my hard heart
Meets in this frame,
To praise thy name.
That if I chance to hold my peace,
These stones to praise thee may not cease.
Oh let thy blessed S A C R I F I C E be mine,
And sanctify this A L T A R to be thine.
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