Week 1, day 3
“The Call,” poem from The Temple, George Herbert
Come, my Way, my Truth, my Life:
Such a Way, as gives us breath:
Such a Truth, as ends all strife:
Such a Life, as killeth death.
Come, my Light, my Feast, my Strength:
Such a Light, as shows a feast:
Such a Feast, as mends in length:
Such a Strength, as makes his guest.
Come, my Joy, my Love, my Heart:
Such a Joy, as none can move:
Such a Love, as none can part:
Such a Heart, as joyes in love.
God and the Fullness of Life (Ephesians 1:3–10)
Susan Bell, Anglican, Canada
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, just as he chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world to be holy and blameless before him in love. He destined us for adoption as his children through Jesus Christ, according to the good pleasure of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace that he freely bestowed on us in the Beloved. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace that he lavished on us. With all wisdom and insight he has made known to us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure that he set forth in Christ, as a plan for the fullness of time, to gather up all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.
According to his biographer, Izaak Walton, the great reformed English poet and priest George Herbert said that his poetry was “a picture of the many spiritual conflicts that have passed betwixt God and my soul, before I could subject mine to the will of Jesus my master: in whose service I have now found perfect freedom.” Here is a timeless soul struggling with the weight of God’s love.
Herbert, like all of us, wanted to continue to uphold the idea that he was the master of his own destiny. In order to preserve our autonomy, we often try to minimize the impact that a life in Christ has on our own desires by not allowing God to make God’s home fully in us by holding the effect of Jesus in our lives to a minimum, not immersing ourselves in the abundance of Christ and therefore not permitting ourselves to share that love and that life with others.
But, if we have the courage in the power of the Holy Spirit to offer ourselves wholly, there is a new kind of freedom for our life in Christ. This is so because a profound generosity, modeled by God, lies at the heart of our faith. This fullness of life is not to be found in a self-centered pirituality but in offering ourselves and the gift of faith to others. God has gifted us so profoundly with freedom and love, and in turn, we offer out of the abundance of what we have been given.
We cannot simply be Christians; we must share our faith. We are the people who are sent o proclaim the Good News. We are the people who go out to heal in God’s name, to love in God’s name and to preach and teach in God’s name.
It was always meant to be this way. From all eternity God created us to be open-hearted; looking with the eyes of our hearts to see where the Lord is at work in our world and to bless it with energy, with love and with service.
This is freedom. This is God’s mission. This is fullness of life.