[Inner Court]George Herbert: "The Church-porch"

Day 35: Morning


When once thy foot enters the church, be bare.

God is more there, then thou: for thou art there

Onely by his permission. Then beware,

And make thy self all reverence and fear.

   Kneeling ne're spoil'd silk stocking: quit thy state.

   All equall are within the churches gate.

     When once your foot enters the church, be bare. God is more there, than you, for you are there only by His permission. Then beware, and make yourself all reverence and fear. Kneeling never spoiled silk stocking; give up your status. All are equal within the church's door.

     Leave all the world's dust outside the church. Take off the success and accomplishments. Lay aside the mortal status, station, honors, wealth, recognition and impediments. Divest yourself of all worldly fears, worries, emptiness, infirmity, poverty and temporal limitations. When you enter the church, go bare. Take off mortality with all its stipulations and temptations. Everyone becomes equal. The presence of God burns every vestige away. Reveal the nature that is the image of God, and, then, approach. Be aware that we come only with His permission; therefore, prepare yourself. Make yourself all reverence for His Majesty and fear for His Potential.

     The church is more God's than ours. "God is more there, than thou." It is more God's place, separated by us for a special purpose. It exists because we have dedicated a sacred site and building cut off from the tempest of our lives and raised to God who raises us up to Him. God gives us permission to enter His house. He invites us; and, therefore, we come as guests. Prepare yourself.

© 1997 J. R. Arner

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