Blessings for Day’s End
I am sharing with you a couple of gifts from the community of the arts today, gifts for the end of the day, the end of the week, the end of a liturgy. With the poem “Let Evening Come” and a choral offering of the Aaronic blessing “The Lord Bless You and Keep You,” I invite you into week’s end with a couple of beautiful offerings.
The first is a poem by Jane Kenyon. Born in Ann Arbor in 1947, Kenyon’s grandmother was a fire-and-brimstone Methodist, frightening Kenyon as a child, and eventually leading her to withdraw from organized religion. She returned to Christianity later in life, and many of her later poems explore theological themes. When asked if her newfound faith influenced her writing, she said, “My spiritual life is so much a part of my intellectual life and my feeling life that it’s really become impossible for me to keep it out of my work.”
Kenyon’s simple advice for meaningful living offers what could be perceived as a “stay at home” playbook for withstanding pandemic isolation:
Be a good steward of your gifts. Protect your time. Feed your inner life. Avoid too much noise. Read good books, have good sentences in your ears. Be by yourself as often as you can. Walk. Take the phone off the hook. Work regular hours.
Jane Kenyon’s poem is entitled “Let Evening Come.”
Let the light of late afternoon
shine through chinks in the barn, moving
up the bales as the sun moves down.
Let the cricket take up chafing
as a woman takes up her needles
and her yarn. Let evening come.
Let dew collect on the hoe abandoned
in long grass. Let the stars appear
and the moon disclose her silver horn.
Let the fox go back to its sandy den.
Let the wind die down. Let the shed
go black inside. Let evening come.
To the bottle in the ditch, to the scoop
in the oats, to air in the lung
let evening come.
Let it come, as it will, and don’t
be afraid. God does not leave us
comfortless, so let evening come.
as cited in SALT Project, May 12, 2020
The other offering this Friday was forwarded by the Kauffman Interfaith Institute, a recording of John Rutter’s choral piece “The Lord Bless You and Keep You.” This well-loved benediction is based on the Aaronic blessing given by Aaron to the people of Israel in Numbers 6:24-26. Offered in tribute to the thousands of health care workers who work daily throughout this pandemic to save lives, it is sung in a virtual format by the Indonesian Batavia Madrigal Singers under the direction of Avip Priatna.
Click the link below to access this beautiful sung benediction via YouTube:
The LORD bless you and keep you;
the LORD make his face to shine upon you,
and be gracious to you;
the LORD lift up his countenance upon you,
and give you peace.
It remains a privilege to serve as one of your pastors. Join us in live streaming of “virtual worship” this Sunday:
- Sixth Sunday of Easter, May 17 at 9:15 a.m.
Grace and peace,
Pastor Bob Linstrom