For the season of Lent, we offer a daily devotional based on a scripture reading for that day (RCL Daily Readings) and a poem that is relevant to that passage of scripture. In the traditional 40-day format of Lent, we offer these meditations for six days each week (no Sundays).
We offer in this series a broad selection of classic and contemporary poems from diverse poets that stir our imaginations with thoughts of how the biblical text speaks to us in the twenty-first century.
Daily Poetry Devotional Lent 2021
Monday March 8
I Kings 6:1-4:
In the four hundred and eightieth year after the Israelites came out of Egypt, in the fourth year of Solomon’s reign over Israel, in the month of Ziv, the second month, he began to build the temple of the Lord.
2 The temple that King Solomon built for the Lord was sixty cubits long, twenty wide and thirty high. 3 The portico at the front of the main hall of the temple extended the width of the temple, that is twenty cubits,c]”>[c] and projected ten cubits from the front of the temple. 4 He made narrow windows high up in the temple walls.
LORD, with what glorie wast thou serv’d of old,
When Solomons temple stood and flourished!
Where most things were of purest gold;
The wood was all embellished
With flowers and carvings, mysticall and rare:
All show’d the builders, crav’d the seers care.
Yet all this glorie, all this pomp and state
Did not affect thee much, was not thy aim;
Something there was, that sow’d debate:
Wherefore thou quitt’st thy ancient claim:
And now thy Architecture meets with sinne;
For all thy frame and fabrick is within.
There thou art struggling with a peevish heart,
Which sometimes crosseth thee, thou sometimes it:
The fight is hard on either part.
Great God doth fight, he doth submit.
All Solomons sea of brasse and world of stone
Is not so deare to thee as one good grone.
And truly brasse and stones are heavie things,
Tombes for the dead, not temples fit for thee:
But grones are quick, and full of wings,
And all their motions upward be;
And ever as they mount, like larks they sing;
The note is sad, yet musick for a King.
IMAGE CREDIT: Temptation in the Wilderness.
Painting by Briton Riviere (1898)