I would like to call your attention this morning to a wonderful post at a blog that started up recently, and to which I have provided a link in the sidebar: the blog is Front Porch Republic. It has a wide variety of authors who put up well-crafted essays on topics that go to the heart of America's character, in the venerable tradition of someone sitting on his front porch and offering observations and comment on what passes by.
One particular post this morning is an excellent way to introduce you to the merits of the site: Mr. Herbert's Sunday Morning Service. Author James Matthew Wilson offers up a wonderful short meditation on how the sense of the sacred has shifted from the seventeenth century to today, and uses a brief "shrub of a verse" by George Herbert to illustrate his theme. "A brief didactic anecdote entirely unimpressive at first glance," he says, "it reads thus:"
As on a window late I cast mine eye,
I saw a vine drop grapes with J and C
Anneal’d on every bunch. One standing by
Ask’d what it meant. I (who am never loth
To spend my judgement) said, It seem’d to me
To be the body and the letters both
Of Joy and Charity. Sir, you have not miss’d,
The man reply’d. It figures JESUS CHRIST.
The insights Mr. Wilson draws out of these eight short lines are very rewarding. For a five-minute uplift to start your week, you could do far worse than click on this link and treat yourself to the whole piece. (The picture above is one of two that Mr. Wilson gives of the church where George Herbert spent the last years of his life: St. Andrew's in Bremerton, England.) And keep checking the site---given the engaging variety of the posts, you will be bound to find something to your liking, and not just once.