High River United Church of High River, Alberta
        

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A Message to Connect - April 8, 2020

Grace & Peace to you, 

We awoke this morning to the radio, to a Jewish rabbi speaking about Passover,

Rabbi Mark S. Glickman of Temple B’nai Tikvah in Calgary.

Today is the first day of Passover for Jewish people around the world. Passover celebrates that God led the Hebrew people out of slavery in Egypt.  (It is interesting that Passover runs parallel to the Christian Holy Week this year – since it was during Passover that Jesus was arrested and crucified.)  Normally, Jewish people gather in large family gatherings to share in the ritual and food of the Passover Seder on this evening.

But not tonight. This rabbi is having a Zoom Seder with his extended family. Thank you, Zoom creators!

 

Rabbi Glickman spoke of the Hebrew word, “dayeinu.” This one word captures a whole phrase in English: “It would have been enough.”

We have the Jewish hymn, a version of the one sung at the Seder, in our hymnbook: VU 131 “If our God had simply saved us.”

The concept (and gratitude) that is sung at Seder each year is that:

if God had done just one thing for us, that would have been enough,

but God did so much more.

 

If our God had simply saved us, merely brought us out of Egypt, only opened up our prison, that would have been enough (dayeinu).

If our God had split the Red Sea, made a way through the walls of water, only opened up the waters, dayeinu!

If our God had kept our feet dry, kept our heads above the waters, kept us safely without drowning, dayeinu!

(and it continues for 14 more verses…gratitude for each step of the journey, ending with: )

But, our God, who holds the banquet, calls the whole word into freedom: opens us the new creation, dayeinu! (Voices United 131)

 

Rabbi Glickman shared that the Hebrew word traditionally used for Egypt means “constriction,” reflecting the constriction of Hebrew lives under slavery in Egypt.  He reflected that this too is a time of constriction, and so the wisdom of “dayeinu” is helpful for us today.  He invited people to give gratitude for what we do have rather than focusing only on what is not available to us.

 

I love it! This wisdom comes to us also in Christian scripture, as we are invited into the spiritual practice of thanksgiving.  In 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18, “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances.”

 

So here is my “dayeinu” for today:

If I had only heard the birds singing as I woke up, that would have been enough.

But then I saw the sun shining brightly, and that would have been enough.

But then I had clean water running out of my tap to wash my face, and that would have been enough.

But then my husband greeted me with a Good Morning, and that would have been enough,

But then Marco, our dog, came to me wagging his tale, and that would have been enough,

But then I found my bright red top to wear, and that would have been enough,

But then I opened the fridge and found food for breakfast, and that would have been enough,

But then I got to drive through my beloved High River and pray for the people of the town, and that would have been enough,

But then I walked into the church where I am privileged to work, and that would have been enough…..

 

I have a whole day to complete this song, and another day tomorrow – dayeinu!!!

I hope you’ll create your own Dayeinu song today.

 

This is not to deny the difficulties and challenges.

The spiritual practice of gratitude – of dayeinu – provides a balance though,

providing a way to ground ourselves in faith and hope in the midst of the alarm and unknowns.

Ultimately, our spiritual practice of gratitude leads us to share light and love in the world.

That is the point – to acknowledge our blessings and then to be a blessing in this world.

 

With gratitude that each one of you are connected in some way to High River United – dayeinu!

and

With all of our love and blessings,

Rev. Susan & Rev. David

 

High River United Church – a community of help, home & hope

“Just to be is a blessing; just to live is holy.”  A. Heschel


 

 


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SUNDAY MORNINGS @ 10AM

123 MacLeod Trail S.W. High River, Alberta.

(403) 652-3168

office@highriverunitedchurch.org

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