Day is done...

As a old folkie - with a decidedly rock and roll obsession - there are two old tunes that often reach up from out of nowhere from time to time and grab me. One is the Peter, Paul and Mary classic, "Day Is Done." I've been loving this song for 41 years- singing it, too - and even used to sport a look not too different from that of Paul Stookey's! (What a humbling journey down memory lane this is...)

We welcomed new members into the faith community today - and there are others who will join the mix later this summer - and that felt good. This was true, of course, for all the obvious reasons, but also because it is a sign that we are living into the promises of being a "tribal church" in our small city. Imperfectly, to be sure; and not without hesitation. Still, ours is a small, truly intergenerational place of worship, service, study and acts of compassion.

Not many places in our culture eagerly welcome old and young people - and those of us in-between - but we have discerned this as part of our sacred calling. My liturgists today were two women - one in her 50s and one in her 20s - one a mother, the other a first year seminary student. Our new members were a young, blended family - with their various "tween" children - along with a middle aged woman exploring her own spiritual journey now that her children are grown. In a few months we'll welcome a professional woman from China, two other young families with children as well as some 50-something adults who are deepening our ministry into the arts.

So as I return thanks for the joys and challenges of this day, I find myself singing this old, old tune and giving thanks for the way our community is quietly becoming a parable of hope. "And if you'll take my hand my son, all will be well when the day is done..."

(This song actually popped into my head yesterday while I was cutting the grass and thinking about the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, my recent conversation with Vietnam Vets and the two wars America is waging in the Middle East. And while I haven't sorted out exactly what I want to say about all of this, it is clear to me that the values and dreams many of us "counter-cultural" types were celebrating in the 60s have a whole lot more health and possibility to them in 2010 than the greed of the Reagan years, the fear of the Nixon generation and the timidity of the Clinton generation... but that's a rant for another time.)

The other song about living each day as a gift comes from Godspell: "Day By Day." I've been loving and singing that song, too, for at least 40 years. It never gets old for me. And while some may think it is a sentimental journey to a simpler place in time, it is just a medieval prayer set to the sounds of American folk music. It doesn't hurt that it, too, was saturated in the counter cultural values of the 60s.

As this day comes to a close - and I wrestle with how to best give evidence of Christ's grace and compassion through my life in the days to come - I find myself grooving to these two old tunes. They are blessings that continue to nourish my soul. Here's a prayer from Iona...

Lord, bring new life
where we are worn and tired,
new love
where we have turned hard-hearted,
where we feel hurt
and where we have wounded,
and the joy and freedom
of your Holy Spirit
where we are the prisoners of ourselves...
To each and to all
where regret is real,
God announces release and pardon
and grantsus the right to being again.
Thanks be to God.

(Here's another 40 year old favorite that I'm aching to play again!)


Black Pete said…
Amen to all three!

Trivia bit: Donovan's backup band on the Hurdy Gurdy Man recording would go on to become Led Zeppelin.

Now that I've discovered Jim Croegaert's music, I am finding songs that I will feel nostalgic about when I'm 85!
Black Pete said…
Addendum: Nice to know I'm not the only folkie quietly picking away in nostalgia. And Tommy Smothers' '50s vintage Guild 6-string! Wow!

Revisited By My Side, from Godspell, thanks to this posting. Such brilliance, beautiful layered vocals and lovely chord progressions--and that moment when everything seems possible.

Thank you so much.
RJ said…
Isn't that a trip, Pete? I'm getting into Croegaert's tunes, too. Maybe you can teach me one of your favorites in August?

Oh I'm glad you connected with this... such joy.

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