Friday, April 27, 2012

A Better Resurrection

Friday, April 27, 2012 -- Week of 3 Easter
Christina Rossetti, Poet, 1894

Readings for the Daily Office
(Book of Common Prayer, p. 961)
Psalms  105:1-22 (morning)        //        105:23-45 (evening)
Exodus 24:1-18
Colossians 2:8-23
Matthew 4:12-17

[Go to http://www.missionstclare.com/english/index.html for an online version of the Daily Office including today's scripture readings.]

...when you were buried with him in baptism, you were also raised with him through faith in the power of God, who raised him from the dead.  (Colossians 2:12)

Today is the day for our observance for Christina Rossetti, noted poet of the Victorian era who wrote many devotional poems.  Episcopalians probably know her best as the author of two Christmas hymns.  In the bleak midwinter, so beautifully set to the Gustav Holst tune (Hymn 112) is a carol that often chokes me, especially its last verse:

What can I give him, poor as I am?
If I were a shepherd, I would bring a lamb;
if I were a wise man, I would do my part;
yet what I can I give him:  give my heart

There is also the lesser known carol, Love came down at Christmas, Hymn 84.

But I'm thinking of a note I got yesterday from a parishioner who is at her mother's side as her mother is dying.  She was looking for some devotional words.  Here is a fine poem from Christina Rossetti, called A Better Resurrection --

I have no wit, no words, no tears;
         My heart within me like a stone
Is numb'd too much for hopes or fears;
         Look right, look left, I dwell alone;
I lift mine eyes, but dimm'd with grief
         No everlasting hills I see;
My life is in the falling leaf:
         O Jesus, quicken me.

My life is like a faded leaf,
         My harvest dwindled to a husk:
Truly my life is void and brief
         And tedious in the barren dusk;
My life is like a frozen thing,
         No bud nor greenness can I see:
Yet rise it shall—the sap of Spring;
         O Jesus, rise in me.

My life is like a broken bowl,
         A broken bowl that cannot hold
One drop of water for my soul
         Or cordial in the searching cold;
Cast in the fire the perish'd thing;
         Melt and remould it, till it be
A royal cup for Him, my King:
         O Jesus, drink of me. 


Lowell
__________

Audio podcast:  Listen to an audio podcast of the most recent Morning Reflections from today and the past week.  Go to: http://www.stpaulsfay.org/id244.html

About Morning Reflections

"Morning Reflections" is a brief thought about the scripture readings from the Daily Office of Morning and Evening Prayer according to the practice found in the Book of Common Prayer of the Episcopal Church.

Morning Prayer begins on p. 80 of the Book of Common Prayer.
Evening Prayer begins on p. 117
An online resource for praying the Daily Office is found at http://www.missionstclare.com/english/index.html

Another form of the office from Phyllis Tickle's "Divine Hours" is available on our partner web site www.ExploreFaith.org at this location
-- http://explorefaith.org/prayer/fixed/index.html

The Mission of St. Paul's Episcopal Church
is to explore and celebrate
God's infinite grace, acceptance, and love.

See our Web site at www.stpaulsfay.org

Our Rule of Life: 
We aspire to...
    worship weekly
    pray daily
    learn constantly
    serve joyfully 
    live generously.

Lowell Grisham, Rector
St. Paul's Episcopal Church
Fayetteville, Arkansas

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