Welcome to A Mending Feast

Welcome to A Mending Feast! No, this is not an online sewing bee; it’s my contribution to the Table of the Lord. Please come in and sit down and make yourself at home. It’s my hope that all who partake here will taste and see that the Lord is good, and gracious, and will leave with appetites whetted to know Him more and more.

This has been my own experience at His table, which He invited me to sit down at some forty years ago: me, at the time a beggar sitting in a dunghill. He picked me up, and caused me to sit down among princes at His table. And oh, what a Table it is! It fills me, yet leaves me hungering for more of Him; it grows; it gets better all the time.

And that’s the meaning of the title of this blog, which was inspired from a line in an old poem by George Herbert (1593-1633).

Come, my Way, my Truth, my Life:
Such a way as gives us breath;
Such a truth as ends all strife,
Such a life as killeth death.

Come my Light, my Feast, my Strength:
Such a light as shows a feast,
Such a feast as mends in length,
Such a strength as makes His guest.

Come, my Joy, my Love, my Heart:
Such a joy as none can move,
Such a love as none can part,
Such a heart as joys in love.

Isn’t this a wondrous poem? I love poetry that leads me in worship, and this is certainly one of them. Herbert saw that it is Christ Himself who is all things to the Christian — our Way, our Truth, our Life… the Way of the Spirit, of the Wind, that, to walk in is moment-by-moment breath to us; the Truth in Whom mercy and truth are met together, in Whom righteousness and peace have kissed; the Life who, dying in the will of God, vanquished him that had the power of death with his own weapon. He is our Light, our Feast, our Joy… the Light that shows a feast spread for us in the very presence of our enemies…

…A feast that “mends in length.” In the old King’s English Dictionary my friend Reg gave me years ago, one of the definitions for “mend” is, “verb, intransitive: to grow better, to improve.” The perfect word to describe the Feast of the Lord! All the feasts of earth sooner or later come to an end, with the guests departed, the table depleted, the once full dishes now empty and forlorn.

Not so this Table. This feast never ends – and it mends in length: the longer it goes the greater it grows, and just gets better, and better, and better, and fuller, and greater, and richer, and leaves the soul, oh, so satisfied… yet hungering for more, and more, and more.

There’s so much in this beautiful old poem, for there is so much in our wondrous Lord Jesus Christ. His feast is a feast that makes us, imparts strength to us: we sit down famished, weak and feeble, but rise up strengthened for whatever is before us. His joy is a joy that none can move, that no man taketh from us; His love is a love that rejoiceth in the truth, is a love that nothing can separate us from.

…And, whatever it was that our hearts rejoiced in when our hearts were in darkness, now we have a heart like His own – a heart that joys in love.

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2 responses »

  1. Thank you, thank you for this exegesis! I am about to sing the Vaughan-Williams musical setting of this poem, and have puzzled over the meaning of “mends in length”. The poem is so rich in meaning, and, for the most part, clear, but this phrase eluded me. Your commentary is not only informative but passionate.

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    • You’re welcome, Alan. I love the Vaughan-Williams music for this poem. Your comment reminded me once again that this feast is an ever-mending, ever-increasing feast… but– here’s the secret– only as we partake of it.

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