Friday, February 23, 2007

Literary Lent

My English literature studying son is home for a couple of days, and in honor of his highbrow presence, I am sharing this poem by W.H. Auden - "He Is the Way".
I found the poem as lyrics to a Lenten hymn in the Worshipbook, the Presbyterians '80s attempt to have a cool, modern worship resource. It's such a beautiful poem, I ran to the piano to see how it sounded with the tune. Awful! Just awful!

But the words are remarkable:

He is the Way.
Follow him through the Land of Unlikeness;
You will see rare beasts, and have unique adventures.

He is the Truth.
Seek him in the Kingdom of Anxiety:
You will come to a great city that has expected your return for years.

He is the Life.
Love him in the World of the Flesh;
And at your marriage all its occasions shall dance for joy.

- W.H. Auden

I especially like the idea that at the end of the journey "you will come to a great city that has expected your return for years". I like small town living. Maybe I will have to think about why heaven is "The City of God".


beabs said...

If Heaven is the City of God, what is Villa Grove? Tomorrow is Fast Day!!!!Thanks for another good sermon.

Kansan said...

I'm thinking you probably gave your son up today (temporarily!) --that's certainly an appropriate sacrifice for Lent!
My sacrifice for Lent will be to join you on this "journey" and the 6:30am prayer time-- (from my kitchen table!) I prefer adding something on that I would like to make a habit rather than give something up.

beabs said...

Welcome to the road to the Cross! We need to recruit more travelers! My prayer time is filled up with Bible readings! Are you using a particular lectionary or Lenten guide? Or is my prayer time not supposed to be sucked up w Bible readings. I'm lucky to get in a 5-minute prayer. I'd like to be more unified in what we are "sharing" along the way.

matt said...

Villa Grove is the island of Patmos.

pastor cindy said...

Kansan, I'm not sure sending Chris back to LA is a sacrifice, because I didn't have any choice about making it!

I agree with you. I'm all for adding things during Lent. I wonder if it is a coincidence that behavioral psychologists say it takes 6 weeks for a new habit to take hold. And Lent is . . .

pastor cindy said...

Matt -
I love the idea of Villa Grove as the Isle of Patmos!

I was thinking maybe, because of the Embarras, it could be Babylon.

I feel a song coming on -

By the river Embarras,
Where we sat down
And there we wept
When we remembered Zion . . .

Do you know that one?

The Isle of Patmos is better.

matt said...

VG- where the servants of God are imprisoned and left to write their memoirs amidst visions of the end of the world. Is that too long to put on the welcome sign on 130?

pastor cindy said...

maybe you could abbreviate:

Villa Grove -
pop. 5300