Rabbit Trails 9.12.19 – a poem, the care of souls, & sabbath rest.

Rabbit Trails 9.12.19 – a poem, the care of souls, & sabbath rest.

§ George Herbert – Aaron 


I work through a few Herbert poems each month, and am increasingly convinced the man was a literary genius. The structure, turns, and endings are layered in such powerful ways. Here is one that I have really enjoyed lately:

Aaron

Holiness on the head,
Light and perfections on the breast,
Harmonious bells below, raising the dead
To lead them unto life and rest:
Thus are true Aarons drest.
//
Profaneness in my head,
Defects and darkness in my breast,
A noise of passions ringing me for dead
Unto a place where is no rest:
Poor priest, thus am I drest.
//
Only another head
I have, another heart and breast,
Another music, making live, not dead,
Without whom I could have no rest:
In him I am well drest.
//
Christ is my only head,
My alone-only heart and breast,
My only music, striking me ev’n dead,
That to the old man I may rest,
And be in him new-drest.
//
So, holy in my head,
Perfect and light in my dear breast,
My doctrine tun’d by Christ (who is not dead,
But lives in me while I do rest),
Come people; Aaron’s drest.

Re-read it. Look at the structure of each stanza and how it repeats in the same topical pattern. Then, if you’re interested, here is an analysis.

Herbert is my favorite poet. I love this collection, and have been really enjoying Ryken’s commentary in this anthology of Christian devotional poetry.

§ Harold Senkbeil – Care of Souls

The first book we are reading in the Ministry Leadership track of the TVCI Residency this year is from Lexham Press, and is entitled The Care of Souls: Cultivating a Pastor’s Heart by Harold Senkbeil. Senkbeil is a lutheran pastor who, after 53 years in ministry, has written a beautiful work on the classical model of pastoring. I keep finding myself caught between stories of his childhood on a farm and pictures of him ministering in the most humane ways that shine with God’s mercy. It is an encouragement and call toward the normal work of pastoral ministry, and I keep getting the kind of gentle, patient, but firm sense of truth that I sense from men like Eugene Peterson and Zack Eswine. There is a settledness about Harold’s words that is comforting and calls toward something beautiful in the work for the pure sake of the work for the Savior, and not for success in secular terms.

Here are a few quotes:

“What you might consider mundane routine is the very heart of your calling: to preach the unsearchable riches of Christ and to administer his life-giving sacraments. Preaching, baptizing, communing may be ordinary and God-ordained—but they are never dull. Through these sacred acts, God gives his Holy Spirit, who works faith when and where it pleases him in those who hear the gospel. Week after week, day after day these seemingly ordinary tasks of a pastor are extraordinarily rich in their impact: sinners are forgiven, saints restored, lives enriched and hearts consoled—all by your mouth and hands! The Spirit’s work continues through you daily and richly in his holy church. This may be routine, but it’s never boring.” p.29

“People have been scrambling to find some way of carrying out what seems to be an impossible task: making disciples in a world that seems with every passing year less and less inclined to become disciples. All kinds of methods have been borrowed from business, advertising, and the social sciences in service of Christ’s commission. Yet the most important ingredient in that mission is often overlooked: the promised personal presence of Jesus by means of his word and sacrament.” p.15

“It amazes me that the medical profession depends on something that we pastors in recent generations have tended to dismiss: quiet, probing conversation accompanied by a great deal of attentive listening. In my experience, the listening itself provides an immensely therapeutic benefit. Most people in our time are frenetically occupied with so many things that they don’t take the time to sit down and unburden their hearts. And if ever they are inclined to do so, there’s no one to listen. So simply giving someone your undivided attention for sixty or so clock ticks, you’ve given then an immense gift.” p.68

§ Sabbath – Recent Sermon and Resources

Last weekend I preached on Sabbath from Psalm 95. As we are learning to practice this rhythm in our house with small children, I have included the sermon and several resources below for use.

“If you don’t come apart for a while, you will come apart after a while.” – Dallas Willard

§ tidbits: 

Lately I’ve been enjoying a song by The New Scottish Hymns Band, Give Me Some Truth. Here it is below:

Here’s to hoping the Texas weather cools off soon, it’s the time of year where I want to end the day around the fire pit with friends. Thanks for reading.

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