A pastor once suggested I learn some of Paul Gerhardt's hymns for encouragement. I've been slow at that suggestion, but I still end up "discovering" Gerhardt's hymns again and again. Last night for Lenten service we ended with Now Rest Beneath Night's Shadow. I found myself loving the words and wishing that I had been Lutheran when my kids were younger. This hymn would make a great nighttime song for a mom and her kids.
Now Rest Beneath Night’s Shadow
Words: Paul Gerhardt.
Music: O Welt, Ich Muss Dich Lassen, 15th Century German melody;
adapted by Heinrich Isaac, 1539;
harmony by Johann S. Bach, 1729 .
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 thy Creator rise.
The radiant sun hath vanished,
His golden rays are banished
By night, the foe of day;
But Christ, the Sun of gladness,
Dispelling all my sadness,
Within my heart holds constant sway.
The rule of day is over
And shining jewels cover
The heaven’s boundless blue.
Thus I shall shine in heaven,
Where crowns of gold are given
To all who faithful prove and true.
To rest my body hasteth,
Aside its garments casteth,
Types of mortality;
These I put off and ponder
How Christ will give me yonder
A robe of glorious majesty.
Lord Jesus, who dost love me,
Oh, 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.
My loved ones, rest securely,
For God this night will surely
From peril guard your heads.
Sweet slumbers may He send you
And bid His hosts attend you
And through the night watch o’er your beds.