By Vicar Lisa
Dayenu is a song that is part of the Jewish holiday of Passover. The word "dayenu" means approximately "it would have been enough," "it would have been sufficient," or "it would have sufficed". This traditional upbeat Passover song is over one thousand years old.
I had never heard of the song until one day, something triggered a passion in John to share it with me. When he was a boy, his family, although not Jewish, practiced a Jewish Seder in their home and he had been fascinated with the meaning behind the song and clung to the idea that no matter what God has given us, it would have been enough.
Dayenu has 15 stanzas representing the 15 gifts God bestowed. The first five involve freeing the Jews from slavery, the next describes the miracles He did for them, and the last five for the closeness to God that they were given. Each stanza is followed by the word "Dayenu" (it would have been enough) sung repeatedly.
Our Sundays and Seasons resource that we use to help plan our Sunday Worship referred to a revised version of Dayenu that our disciples could have been singing to themselves as they hid in their upper room. It said that now, more than ever, these huddled disciples would have just cause to sing the “Dayenu”.
The Sundays and Seasons revised version states that it would have been enough for the Word and wisdom of God to have been born in the flesh...Dayenu! It would have been enough for the Word to grow to adulthood and share his stunning parables about God’s gracious activity in the world...Dayenu! It would have been enough for this Word to say to his enemies, “Father, forgive them”...Dayenu! It would have been enough for this Word to have died on a cross for us...Dayenu! It would have been enough that he rose again in blessing, not vengeance...Dayenu! But now, beyond what we would even expect—the Word becomes our word and it is written on our hearts at Pentecost...Dayenu! It is enough, and more than enough to enflame our ministry of reconciliation in a world in need of a healing word.
What an interesting way of looking at things! If we could reframe our thinking, not to want what we do not have, but remember that what God has done for us is enough, I wonder if we would leave our upper rooms and engage more with the rest of the world. Let us all work on our Dayenu mindset!
And, if you are unfamiliar with this upbeat song (the original version), there are multiple versions I found on YouTube. I will share this link to a version that has the verses in English. You will probably be singing it the rest of the day: Dayenu! It would have been enough!
Pentecost Sunday, May 28, 2023, Wear RED!
10 a.m. Worship with Holy Communion
Pentecost Sunday, May 28, 2023
This coming Sunday is Pentecost, the fiftieth day of Easter, and we keep the resurrection of Christ by celebrating the Spirit of the Risen Christ in our midst. Jesus Christ has not gone away but is here with us: we stand to greet him as we hear him speak in the gospel reading, and we share in his body in the meal.
The Gospel of John is appointed for most of the primary festivals of the liturgical year because of John’s high Christology and its centrality in the development of Christian doctrine. John says theologically the narrative of Pentecost: the breath of the risen Christ has enlivened the Christian community with the Spirit of God. This passage from John 20 was appointed also for the second Sunday of Easter.
The narrative of Pentecost exemplifies Luke’s expert storytelling ability. The reading includes hidden references to the Hebrew Bible, a citation from the prophets, a contemporary geography lesson, an account of miracles, and the folksy detail of the accusation of drunkenness. As we await the eschatological end of all things, we are now those who prophesy, see visions and dream dreams.
1 Corinthians 12:3b-13
The reading in Numbers is concerned with the authority of religious leaders, and this selection from 1 Corinthians with the many and varied roles of church members. We pray that the unity in the Spirit that Paul described will characterize also our assembly of faith.
Zion's Lutheran Church