A gold star to everyone who can name the movie that this song comes from:
When you’re worried, and you can’t sleep,
just count your blessings instead of sheep
And you’ll fall asleep, counting your blessings!
If you said “White Christmas” (which not only refers to the snow, but the casting) you get a star.
This song is sung by Bing Crosby to Rosemary Clooney on a beautiful set created to look like a Vermont ski lodge. Rosemary’s character can’t fall asleep, so she goes in search of a snack. I like this girl. She meets Bing in the dining room, who offers her cold buttermilk, liverwurst sandwiches, and a song by a glowing fire pit. As much as I like snacks, I would have settled for just the song.
Covid fatigue has rendered a lot of us sleepless. And when we do fall asleep, many of us find ourselves awake again in a few hours. What is the best remedy, besides a snack? I mean if we give into that, COVID 19 will end up referring to how many pounds we have gained in this pandemic.
The answer is obvious…count your blessings.
Once upon a time there was a guy named Ethan the Ezrahite who wrote a maskil. A maskil, of course, is a technical term to designate the manner of composition or performance of a particular song. So this psalm was intended to be sung, perhaps around a fire for people who couldn’t fall asleep. In keeping with our theme, perhaps we could add some scat singing to this.
Ethan begins by counting his blessings:
Psalm 89 (New Revised Standard Version)
A Maskil of Ethan the Ezrahite.
1 I will sing of your steadfast love, O Lord, forever;
with my mouth I will proclaim your faithfulness to all generations.
2 I declare that your steadfast love is established forever;
your faithfulness is as firm as the heavens.
When you’re worried and you can’t sleep, these are blessings that you can count on as well.
God’s steadfast love.
God’s faithfulness to all generations.
God’s grace is forever.
His heaven and his faithfulness are firm.
3 You said, “I have made a covenant with my chosen one,
I have sworn to my servant David:
4 ‘I will establish your descendants forever,
and build your throne for all generations.’”
The reminder that God made a covenant with David is the biggest blessing. Through David’s lineage, Jesus was born. He came to bring light into our darkness, hope into our despair, and eternal life into our earthly misery. When he comes again to establish his throne, every knee will bow, and pain and suffering will be no more.
So tonight, if you can’t sleep, just count your blessings! God’s love will sustain us all.