There are days when I don’t think I have much to offer. Days when I’m thankful that I manage to get dressed and eat more than chocolate bunny ears. I suspect I am not alone. It feels very challenging to accomplish anything, and everything seems to take twice as long as it usually does. There is a weight in the air that is difficult to ignore.
And yet, somehow we carry on. We complete daily tasks, we cook and clean. We do our jobs as well as we can, even if less or differently than normal. We may take moments, or longer, to be angry or discouraged, but we try. We fill our plates with whatever we have – literally and figuratively – discovering we need less than we thought. We are becoming very aware of what we believe and how these beliefs shape our lives, our decisions, our attitudes and our outlook.
Sent forth by God’s blessing, our true faith confessing,
The people of God from this dwelling take leave.
The supper is ended. Oh, now be extended
The fruits of this service in all who believe.
The fruit of Christ’s teaching, receptive souls reaching,
Shall blossom in action for God and for all.
His grace did invite us, his love shall unite us
To work for God’s kingdom and answer his call.
With praise and thanksgiving to God ever living
The tasks of our ev’ryday life we will face.
Our faith ever sharing, in love ever caring,
Embracing the children of each tribe and race.
With your feast you feed us, with your light now lead us,
Unite us as one in this life that we share.
Then may all the living with praise and thanksgiving
Give honor to Christ and his name that we bear.
This hymn is based on another traditional Welsh folk song known as The Ash Grove (Llwyn Onn). The text I am familiar with, speaks about being sent out into the world following the Christian practice of Holy Communion. The knowledge that this sacred feast prepares one for life outside of church, life in the greater world. I find this interesting, especially right now. Not so much in the religious sense, although that is certainly meaningful to many, but in the sense that our lives, our choices, our foundations – nothing less than who we have chosen to be – guides us when normalcy is gone and we walk unknown paths.
Perhaps this is about faith. Or philosophy. Or ideals, values, perspective. How we were raised. What we retained, what we discarded. Our views on life, others, the world. There are many ways to look at this, but it seems to me, that it is becoming clear how powerful these foundations can be. These choices we are able to make. Our ability to change for the better, or for the worse.
I particularly like the second verse in this hymn. The idea that it is everyday tasks that must be faced, strengthened by standing upon our own solid foundations. The idea that this allows us to share and care for everyone, alike or different. United. Being led by what supports us, being both fed and feeding those around us. It seems like that is what we are attempting to do. We sit in our homes and wait. We give up our normalcy, our livelihoods, our freedom to gather and enjoy each other’s company…for the greater good. Embracing every tribe and every race. Ever sharing. Ever caring.
We have been sent forth. Perhaps this is not how we envisioned our journey, the road couldn’t possibly have been predicted. We are not travelling far, and yet we are covering much ground. Ground that offers a little bit of safety. So, on the days when you have nothing else to offer, remember that this is enough. It is great and it is honourable. And, it is a confession of what you believe and who you are.