Feast of Georg Neumark (July 10)   Leave a comment

01164v

Above:  The Castle, Weimar, Thuringia, Germany, Between 1890 and 1900

Image Source = Library of Congress

(http://www.loc.gov/pictures/item/2002720790/)

Reproduction Number = LC-DIG-ppmsca-01164

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GEORG NEUMARK (MARCH 16, 1621-JULY 8, 1681)

German Lutheran Poet and Hymn Writer

Georg Neumark was traveling with a group of merchants in 1641, en route to Konigsberg, where he intended to enroll in law school.  They had just left Magdeburg when bandits robbed them thoroughly.  Neumark returned to Magdeburg in search of employment.  There was no work for him there.  He looked for employment in a succession of towns and cities, to no avail.  Finally, in December of that year, Pastor Nicolaus Becker, a friend of Neumark, found him a position as tutor to the family of Judge Stephan Henning of Kiel.  Neumark wrote the following hymn after getting that job:

If thou but suffer God to guide thee,

And hope in Him through all thy ways,

He’ll give thee strength whate’er betide thee,

And bear thee through the evil days.

Who trusts in God’s unchanging love

Builds on the rock that nought can move.

—–

What can these anxious cares avail thee,

These never-ceasing moans and sighs?

What can it help if thou bewail thee

O’er each dark moment as it flies?

Our cross and trials do but press

The heavier for our bitterness.

—–

Only be still, and wait His leisure

In cheerful hope, with heart content

To take whate’er thy Father’s pleasure

And all-discerning love have sent;

Nor doubt our inmost wants are known

To Him who chose us for His own.

—–

Sing, pray, and keep His ways unswerving;

So do thine own part faithfully,

And trust His word,–though undeserving,

Thou yet shalt find it true for thee;

God never yet forsook at need

The soul that trusted Him indeed.

–Translated by Catherine Winkworth (1829-1878)

Neumark worked in that household until June 1643, when he became a law student at Konigsberg.  A fire destroyed most of his belongings three years later.  In 1648, after five years during which he studied both law and poetry while working as a family tutor, Neumark left Konigsberg.  He traveled from city to city for a few years, ending up in Weimar in the early 1650s.  Duke Wilhelm II of Sache-Weimar, President of the Fruitbearing Society, a leading German literary organization, appointed Neumark to serve as the court poet, registrar, and librarian to the government at Weimar.  In time, Neumark became secretary of the Ducal Archives.  He joined the Fruitbearing Society and became its secretary in 1653.

Later in life Neumark’s literary career continued.  In 1679 he joined the Order of the Society of Pegnitz Shepherds (the Pegnitz Order for short), devoted to maintaining the integrity of the German language, especially in poetry.  Neumark went blind in 1681, the year of his death.  His blindness did not prevent him from keeping any of his positions, though.

Bad things happen to good people, but positive results can flow from those events.  Grace is present, of course.  Another germane factor is one’s attitude in such circumstances.  Georg Neumark’s life offers a good example of dealing well with adverse events.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

MAY 19, 2013 COMMON ERA

PENTECOST SUNDAY, YEAR C

THE FEAST OF SAINT ANDREW BOBOLA, JESUIT MARTYR

THE FEAST OF SAINT DUNSTAN OF CANTERBURY, ARCHBISHOP

THE FEAST OF SAINT IVO OF CHARTRES, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP

THE FEAST OF SAINT IVO OF KERMARTIN, ROMAN CATHOLIC PRIEST AND ADVOCATE OF THE POOR

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Eternal God, light of the world and Creator of all that is good and lovely:

We bless your name for inspiring Georg Neumark and all those

who with words have filled us with desire and love for you;

through Jesus Christ our Savior, who with you and the Holy Spirit

lives and reigns, one God, for ever and ever.  Amen.

1 Chronicles 29:14b-19

Psalm 90:14-17

2 Corinthians 3:1-3

John 21:15-17, 24-25

–Adapted from Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010), page 728

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