Death, Be Not Proud: A Reading of John Donne’s Holy Sonnet X

Posted on March 30, 2024
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“Death, be not proud,” also known as Holy Sonnet X, is John Donne’s great poem in mockery of Death. Composed in 1609, the poem was published posthumously in 1633. It is fitting that Donne got the final word, laughing at Death from his grave. The power of the poem is its reversal of our experience….

George Herbert: A Rookie Anglican Guide to the Priest and Poet

Posted on February 26, 2024
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George Herbert, perhaps the greatest devotional poet in the English language, was also a faithful pastor to a small country church. When I was a student, Herbert helped lead the way of my pilgrimage to Christ. As an adult disciple and priest, I have continually refreshed my spirit by dipping back into Herbert’s prose and…

Hymn Guide: And Can It Be

Posted on June 7, 2023
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Charles Wesley was an Anglican Priest and itinerant preacher who wrote around 6500 hymns in his life. One of the first and best was “And Can It Be.” Likely written shortly after his evangelical conversion in May 1738, it reflects a personal relationship with Jesus through the experience of spiritual rebirth. Charles published “And Can…

I Throw Me At His Feet: A Reading of George Herbert’s “The Priesthood”

Posted on March 4, 2023
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As I discern my own vocation, George Herbert’s poem, The Priesthood, has helped me to understand the sacrament of ordination. Sacraments of the Church The catechism of the ACNA describes five different rites and institutions as “sacraments of the church” (see To Be A Christian, #124). These differ from the sacraments of Baptism and Holy…

Ten Poets Every Pastor Should Read

Posted on September 17, 2018
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From LeaderWorks. Make sure to register for their upcoming webinar on Thursday, September 20, 2018 at 10:30 AM CST. I made you a mixtape. Let me explain. “Yeah, I’d like to get into poetry.” When I get to know someone in church ministry and it comes out at some point that I have a background…

Denise Levertov’s ‘On A Theme By Thomas Merton’

Posted on March 27, 2014
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Lent with the Poets #4.  Series Introduction is here.  Why are some writers of faith celebrated in American Christianity while others are not? That is my question about today’s poet, Denise Levertov. Among Christians devoted to the arts, Levertov is profoundly appreciated. Yet she hasn’t received the wider acclaim and affection that many afford to Frederick…

‘Possible Answers to Prayer’ by Scott Cairns

Posted on March 20, 2014
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by Jack King. Lent with the Poets Series #3.  Series Introduction is here.  In the first two posts of this series, I featured a few 19th-century poets whose verse addresses Lenten themes. For the third feature, I’ve chosen a current American poet, Scott Cairns, who continues to publish poetry. Cairns is an Orthodox Christian who incorporates the richness…

‘Up-hill’ by Christina Rossetti

Posted on March 13, 2014
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by Jack King. Lent with the Poets Series #2.  Series Introduction is here.  This week’s poet is Christina Rossetti, a 19th century Anglican poet who is often compared to Emily Dickinson. Christmas seems incomplete without Rosetti’s lyrical carols, such as In the Bleak Midwinter and Love Shown Down at Christmas. Yet the richness of Rossetti’s verse has been sorely neglected…