Wenceslas

Good King Wenceslas looked out
On the feast of Stephen
When the snow lay round about
Deep and crisp and even
Brightly shone the moon that night
Though the frost was cruel
When a poor man came in sight
Gath’ring winter fuel.

“Hither, page, and stand by me
If thou know’st it, telling
Yonder peasant, who is he?
Where and what his dwelling?”
“Sire, he lives a good league hence
Underneath the mountain
Right against the forest fence
By Saint Agnes’ fountain.”

“Bring me flesh and bring me wine
Bring me pine logs hither
Thou and I will see him dine
When we bear them thither.”
Page and monarch forth they went
Forth they went together
Through the rude wind’s wild lament
And the bitter weather.

“Sire, the night is darker now
And the wind blows stronger
Fails my heart, I know not how,
I can go no longer.”
“Mark my footsteps, my good page
Tread thou in them boldly
Thou shalt find the winter’s rage
Freeze thy blood less coldly.”

In his master’s steps he trod
Where the snow lay dinted
Heat was in the very sod
Which the Saint had printed
Therefore, Christian men, be sure
Wealth or rank possessing
Ye who now will bless the poor
Shall yourselves find blessing.

-John Mason Neale

Soul Food

not my photo.

Wilt thou love God, as he thee! then digest,
My Soule, this wholsome meditation,
How God the Spirit, by Angels waited on
In heaven, doth make his Temple in thy brest.
The Father having begot a Sonne most blest,
And still begetting, (for he ne’r begonne)
Hath deign’d to chuse thee by adoption,
Coheire to his glory, and Sabbaths endlesse rest.
And as a robb’d man, which by search doth finde
His stolne stuffe sold, must lose or buy it againe:
The Sonne of glory came downe, and was slaine,
Us whom he had made, and Satan stolne, to unbinde.
Twas much, that man was made like God before,
But, that God should be made like man, much more.

-John Donne

Jesus Wept

In Bible study last Friday, the topic was John 11 – the death of Lazarus, and Jesus’ resurrection of him, four days later. We discussed a lot of things: why Jesus waited to go to him, even though he would have only had to walk two miles; why Martha went out to confront him before he even got into town; the “resurrection at the last day”; and also John 11:35, the shortest verse in the Bible.

Jesus wept.

This happens after Jesus is shown where Lazarus has been entombed, surrounded by family, friends, and possibly local Jewish religious leaders. Why Jesus wept has always intrigued me – after all, he was intending to raise Lazarus from the dead, right? That seems to be the goal, even in verse 11, where he says that he will wake Lazarus from his “sleep”, which he then clarifies is death. Oh, and he’s also the all-powerful, all-knowing God of the universe … did I mention that?

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Something More

*squeeeeee* Many thanks to the pheersome Canadian kitty of doom for the header! I was feeling terribly uninspired, but I still decided I didn’t like my header, and she whipped one up out of thin air for me.

Otherwise… I’m tired. Work, and rehearsal for church, and then hanging out with Laura and some people in her program, which was fun. And tomorrow (rather, today) is Friday, and then seeing some good friends from last summer over the weekend.

I’m blanking right now, and nothing terribly exciting or clever is coming to mind, so I’ll leave you with a thought/quote that has really jumped out at me this week:

“If God is Love, He is, by definition, something more than mere kindness. And it appears, from all records, that though He has often rebuked us and condemned us, He has never regarded us with contempt. He has paid us the intolerable compliment of loving us, in the deepest, most tragic, most inexorable sense.” – C. S. Lewis

Of Mourning: A Valediction

As virtuous men pass mildly away,
And whisper to their souls, to go,
Whilst some of their sad friends do say:
‘The breath goes now’, and some say: ‘No’:

So let us melt, and make no noise,
No tear-floods, nor sigh-tempests move;
‘Twere profanation of our joys
To tell the laity our love.

Moving of the earth brings harms and fears;
Men reckon what it did and meant:
But trepidation of the spheres,
Though greater far, is innocent.

Dull sublunary lover’s love
(Whose soul is sense) cannot admit
Absence, because it doth remove
Those things which elemented it.

But we, by a love so much refin’d
That our selves know not what it is,
Inter-assured of the mind,
Care less, eyes, lips, and hands to miss.

Our two souls therefore, which are one,
Though I must go, endure not yet
A breach, but an expansion,
Like gold to airy thinness beat.

If they be two, they are two so
As stiff twin compasses are two:
Thy soul, the fix’d foot, makes no show
To move, but doth, if the other do;

And though it in the centre sit,
Yet when the other far doth roam,
It leans, and hearkens after it,
And grows erect, as that comes home.

Such wilt thou be to me, who must,
Like the other foot, obliquely run:
Thy firmness makes my circle just,
And makes me end where I begun.

-John Donne