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To Pray or To Post

February 07 2017
February 07 2017

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Like many of you, I traverse the online world of social media with a little fear and trepidation. After all, how critically important is my sharing on Facebook or Twitter all my opinions and/or objections on the daily news cycle? Are my internal rants and pious sounding reflections (they always sound pious to me, right?) really that relevant to the cultural conversation? Are these acts of faithfulness or vanity? It can be hard to sort out. Obviously, even by writing this blog and linking my FB page to it I am giving some credence to these online mediums.

Of course, as believers we must keep trying to do that hard work of clarifing these things. At the same time though, that project mostly makes my head ache. So, what if we directed our attention to praying instead of posting? As far as I know "posting" is no substitute for praying, which is that ancient, pre-modern medium through which God, in Jesus Christ, promises to meet us and through which He declares His sovereign purposes in this world are accomplished.

The Welsh born, Anglican priest, George Herbert (1593-1633), will be our guide. I wonder, had Herbert lived in our time of FB posts and Twitter tweets, would he have had the solitude to pen such a profound and hopeful reflection on prayer (see below)? And, given that we do live in such a time have we forgotten what life-giving hope (God's very breath plummeting the heights of heaven) and what creative, thunderous and tower-storming power is available to us if we would only quiet our hearts and talk to God. Kyrie Eleison!

Prayer (I)

Prayer the Church’s banquet, Angels’ age,
God’s breath in man returning to his birth,
The soul in paraphrase, heart in pilgrimage,
The Christian plummet sounding heav’n and earth;
Engine against th’ Almighty, sinners’ tower,
Reversed thunder, Christ-side-piercing spear,
The six-days world-transposing in an hour,
A kind of tune, which all things hear and fear;
Softness, and peace, and joy, and love, and bliss,
Exalted Manna, gladness of the best,
Heaven in ordinary, man well dressed,
The milky way, the bird of Paradise,
Church-bells beyond the stars heard, the soul’s blood
The land of spices; something understood.

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