On the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare's death we steal two prayers from him.

Saturday, 4/24/16

We turn to each day’s Scripture readings because for the most part the wisdom of the past comes down to us through the Bible. But it sometimes happens that when we take delight in some remembered line that we find that it actually came from the writings of Shakespeare.

Today is the four hundredth anniversary of Shakespeare’s death. And, while we find his lines difficult, we should be thankful that so  much of his inspired wisdom is here to enrich us.

Let me give you a shortened version of his Sonnets 29 and 30. You might use them as prayers when you turn to Christ for help in times of despair:

29.       When in disgrace with fortune and men’s eyes
            I all alone beweep my outcast state
            And trouble deaf heaven with my bootless cries.
            …………………………………………………………………..
Happly, I think on thee – and then my state  
Like to a lark at break of day arising
From sullen earth hymns at heaven’s gate
            For thy sweet love remembered such wealth brings
            That then I scorn to change my state with kings


30..     When to the sessions of sweet silent thought
            I summon up remembrance of things past
            I sigh the lack of many a thing I sought
            And with old woes new wail my dear times' waste
           ................................................................................
            Then can I grieve for grievances foregone,
            And heavily from woe to woe tell o'er
            The sad account of fore-bemoaned moan,
            But if the while I think on thee, dear friend,
            All losses are restored and sorrows end.  

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