“To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood and has made us to be a kingdom and priests to serve his God and Father—to him be glory …! Amen.”

Revelation 1:5b-6
Our pastor stood behind the communion table. The loaf of bread and the cup of wine were in front of him, but before he served them, he paused to recite the last stanza of George Herbert’s 1663 poem “The Agony”: “Love is that liquor sweet and most divine; which my God feels as blood, but I as wine.” With those words, His voice broke, and so did our hearts.

Most of us have heard the liturgy of the Lord’s Supper so often that our minds start to dull. The words go in one ear and out the other; we eat and drink without really remembering. We need fresh apprehensions. We need to hear the words of Jesus like a new song. Poetry has the power to remove that over-familiar deafness and give us ears to hear.

If we’ve become complacent about our sin, Herbert invites us to see “a man so wrung with pains, that all his hair, his garment bloody be” and to see our sin as the “vice” that holds him to the cross. His poem blends agony and celebration, suffering and joy, blood and wine, all together in a single cup and calls it “Love.”

Scripture Focus

1 Corinthians 11:23-26


“This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me.” (1 Corinthians 11:25)

Bible In A Year

  • Ezekiel 37-38
  • Psalm 149
  • 2 Timothy 1-2

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