“God bless you and keep you, God smile on you and gift you, God look you full in the face and make you prosper.” Numbers 6:22-27 (The Message Bible)
Eugene Peterson, who authored the words of The Message Bible, changed the familiar word “countenance” to “smile,” “peace” to “gift,” and “graciousness” to “make you prosper.” The words of today’s scripture lesson (from a more traditional version of the Bible) are familiar as a hymn sung at the end of worship services. I tried to transpose Peterson’s choice of words into the old score, and it didn’t work. I hope that a Christian musician will read this blog and re-write the song for contemporary worship!
Many popular singers (Perry Como, Tammy Wynette, Jim Reeves, and others) performed this scripture-based song with a second verse. The lyrics are great for today—a late spring day:
May you walk with sunlight shining and a bluebird in every tree
May there be a silver lining back of every cloud you see
Fill your dreams with sweet tomorrows never mind what might have been
May the good Lord bless and keep you till we meet again. Amen
And all God’s people say, “Amen!”