Sabbath Rest

10 Mar 2023 | Believers | 0 comments

Whatever is foreseen in joy

Must be lived out from day to day.

Vision held open in the dark

By our ten thousand days of work.

Harvest will fill the barn; for that

The hand must ache, the face must sweat.


And yet no leaf or grain is filled

By work of ours; the field is tilled

And left to grace. That we may reap,

Great work is done while we’re asleep.


When we work well, a Sabbath mood

Rests on our day, and finds it good.


Wendell Berry (1934 – ),

Notes from the Compiler

'A Timbered Choir', The Sabbath Poem,. 1979-1997. Phil Dent comments: 'The poem is one of exhortation and encouragement, to "work well" and await our Sabbath-rest'. 'Sabbath Poem X takes on the familiar images of the agricultural lifecycle, and applies them to our – or indeed God’s - other endeavours. The process described involves not only our labour plus the maturation of time and the seasons, but other benevolences and fruits, too. For example, that ‘the field is tilled / And left to grace’ indicates a clear delineation of human and divine roles and responsibilities, repeated by the sentiment that ‘great work is done while we’re asleep’.


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