Lenten Meditations: Tuesday 27 February

Feb 27, 2018 by

Feb 27
am: 1
pm: 105: 1-11, 37-45
Malachi 2. 5-7 Rev 19. 5-9 Matt 11. 25-30


TUESDAY OF LENT II: Feast of Blessed George Herbert, Priest and Spiritual Guide, 1633

LITURGICAL THEME FOR THE DAY:   Born in 1593 he became a fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge. He became a member of Parliament, but after spending a time with Deacon Nicholas Ferrar, founder of Little Gidding, he was made deacon in 1626 and was ordained a priest in 1630. He was posted to the parish of Bemerton, near, where he spent the rest of his short life. He wrote prolifically, poems and hymns with his classic work, The Country Parson, on the priestly life, still a staple for those seeking Anglican Orders. The Temple, earned him a place as an Anglican Divine in English literature. He was committed to the weekday praying of the daily office and is considered a model for the role of a parish priest to this day.

MEDITATION OF THE DAY:  The lessons today are taken from the Eucharistic Reading assigned for the Feast of George Herbert. Malachi highlights the privilege of priestly ministry making it clear that God has made a covenant with those called to priestly ministry. This ministry is to be hallmarked by a life committed to the covenant which is about the call to salvation, without this both the priests and people will lose their way. But with this faithfulness to the covenant there is Shalom, there is peace and belonging not alienation and discord amongst God’s people. Thus by leading God’s people in this way the priests promote a reverence for God and for the things of God.

This passage was timely in the days of George Herbert and perhaps even more timely for the clergy of today. In this days of systemization of the clergy, concepts ranging from coaching consultations to standardized evaluations, it is easy to forget that both the Scriptures such as the lesson for today and the Ordinal make clear that the primary role of an ordained leader is not simply to organize and administer church affairs, or to run the latest and best program, to
come up with creative ideas on the latest approach to evangelism and to offer sermons that are both entertaining and meaningful. Malachi and the example of George Herbert remind us that the clergy are to offer a life of instruction by a life of integrity by walking with God in humility. That theme of humility continues to come up this week in the lessons because it is foundational to life in Christ and the ordained life even more so. Malachi reminds both priests and laity alike that in failing to take the promises that one takes at ordination the clergy treat God’s name with contempt. George Herbert despite his brilliance and potential to make a name for himself with skills of oration, chose instead to be conscientious in fulfilling his pastoral duties, and was deeply concerned about the souls in his care. Far from perfect and he did struggle in his short ministry but his commitment to doctrine, spiritual discipline, and rituals of the Church show the ageless meaning they have to life in Christ.


PRAYER OF THE DAY: God our Savior, in this world of many distractions as to what is important and of value, bring us back to you and fill our minds with your wisdom and hearts with your love not just one day but seven days upon seven days so that we praise thee; in our heart, though not in heaven, we can raise thee.  Amen


Lenten Discipline –   Read and ponder on George Herbert’s  poem Praise II  which would be  familiar to many as the Hymn, King of Glory. What is this prayer calling you to ? Go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QTNDNVV8ICg and listen to the words put to music by David Walker. The words can be found with commentary at https://tellingthetruth1993.com/2016/10/09/king-of-glory-king-of-peace


ANCIENT WISDOM/PRESENT GRACE: “Yet Lord instructs 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 parlor; banqueting the poor, And among those his soul” – – George Herbert

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