Sep 6, 2010

A Celtic Labor Day

Examples of Celtic labor from the Book of Kells Exhibit, Washington-Centerville Library

Although Labor Day is an American holiday, it still makes me think about the Celtic people. The Carmina Gadelica* is filled with prayers and songs for times of labor. There is a whole section devoted to labor. The people took God with them wherever they went and included Him in whatever they were doing.

God, bless Thou Thyself my reaping.
Each ridge, and plain, and field,
Each sickle curved, shapely, hard,
Each ear and handful on the sheaf.
Each ear and handful on the sheaf.*

I often ask myself if I do this. I think the very fact that I have to ask means I don't, or I don't nearly enough take God with me in my everyday tasks. Many Christians have a time of devotion or quiet prayer, and when I do this myself, I find myself often questioning whether I'm sticking God into 15 minutes a day and leaving Him out of the rest.

The Celtic people clearly had a different mindset. There was no separating God from the world. God is not only in the world, He is life, the very reason the world exists.

Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it. ~John 1: 3-5 NIV

I AM smooring the fire
As the Son of Mary would smoor;
Blest be the house, blest be the fire,
Blest be the people all.*

I have blogged about the Carmina Gadelica many times before (see this search) and probably will again. It's a wonderful collection that illuminates the spiritual belief of the ancient Celtic people.

I will give thanks to the King of grace
For the growing crops of the ground,
He will give food to ourselves and to the flocks
According as He disposeth to us.*

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