1. Now rest beneath night's shadow
The woodland, field, and meadow;
The world in slumber lies.
But thou, my heart, awake thee,
To prayer and song betake thee;
Let praise to they Creator rise.
5. Lord Jesus, who dost love me,
O spread Thy wings above me
And shield me from alarm!
though evil would assail me,
Thy mercy will not fail me;
I rest in Thy protecting arm.
6. My loved ones, rest securly,
For God this night will surely
From peril guard your heads.
Sweet slumbrs may He send you
And bid His hosts attend you
And through the night watch o'er your beds.
Paul Gerhardt (1607-76)
# 569 ELH
This evening hymn is one of my all time favorites, probably because as a child my family would sing it often after supper and our evening devotions. We knew the words by heart when we were very young, almost as young as when we learned Away in a Manger. We sat around the oil cloth covered table in the southwest corner of the kitchen, and when our food was gone, daddy would reach behind him to the window sill where the devotion book, Portals of Prayer, was kept. He read the Bible verse for the day, and the short devotion that followed it, and ended with a short prayer. We then would all say the Lord's Prayer together, and then end with the common thank you table prayer. Often we then sang a hymn, and this one was one of our favorites. Daddy began in his deep bass voice, mom joined in with her pretty soprano, the Christian Day School teacher who lived with us sang, as well as all five of us kids. This is one of my dearest memories, the whole family around the table together, joining in prayer and song. And often out the window to the west, we would view a pretty sunset like the one pictured. I felt peaceful, safe, and loved. I hope you all feel that way tonight.