Friday, October 26, 2012

Friday in Pentecost, Proper 24: A soul divided

Opening Sentence
The Lord is in his holy temple; let all the earth keep silence before him. Habakkuk 2:20

O Lord, You're Beautiful

Commemoration: Alfred the Great
O Sovereign Lord, who brought your servant Alfred to a troubled throne that he might establish peace in a ravaged land and revive learning and the arts among the people: Awake in us also a keen desire to increase our understanding while we are in this world, and an eager longing to reach that endless life where all will be made clear; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Psalter: Psalm 31

Lessons: Revelation 9:13-21, Luke 10:38-42

Now the Martha of her stiffened to her load,
Down-weighing, of relentless daily care,
Now she straightened upright, would not bend or break,
But held herself all iron standing there.

When the Mary of her called unto her soul
And made a moan and cried to it in vain:
"Oh this woman--look! She fretteth overmuch
And leaves no space for me; Lord, I complain."

But the Martha of her listened with the sigh
Of those too weary or too strong to rest:
"Tell who taketh then this burden if I cease
And empty both my hands upon my breast."

O a soul divided is a soul forespent
She went still asking, "Is it I? Or I?"
Low forever through the silence Mary spake,
And Martha, sad and sure did make reply.

Till the irony and harmony of death
Made out of these a concord high and sweet
When the Martha of the woman toiling, passed
Estranged from ease, she sought her Master's feet.

"Now my turn has come, my turn at last," she cried,
My time to worship, listening to Thy Word."
Oh, but calm beyond her, fair above her still
The Mary of her knelt before her Lord.

Elizabeth S.P. Ward

We Fall Down