Last night I dreamt I saw Reverend Rodgers again.
Reverend John Rodgers was the pastor of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Richland, PA, during the mid 60s, and as much as I hated going to church and Sunday school, I really did like Reverend Rodgers and his wife (whose name I no longer recall, alas; in the newspaper clips I’ve been able to find, she is always referred to as Mrs. John Rodgers).
Why I dreamt of him, I have no idea; usually when someone enters my dreams, which often are quite vivid, it’s because I’ve been talking about them or at least thinking about them during the day, but that wasn’t the case this time.
As I recall our church services, they always ended with Reverend Rodgers intoning the benediction:
“The Lord bless thee, and keep thee; the Lord make his face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee; the Lord lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace.”
Then the congregation would sing the final hymn, the acolyte (sometimes it would be me) extinguished the candles on the alter, and the good reverend and the choir (all three or four of them) and the acolyte would form a small procession down the aisle as the organist continued to play. It was all very spiritual, I guess. Finally, the congregation would file out of the church and congratulate the pastor on what a fine sermon he had given.
Anyway, my dream centered around that benediction. I was trying to find its location in the Bible, which I was sure was somewhere in Deuteronomy. So I was using the Concordance in the back of the Bible to try to find it, but I wasn’t having any luck (too bad the Internet didn’t exist in my dream as all I had to do was go to the BibleGateway.com and search on “give thee peace” to learn that it was actually in Numbers 6:24-26).
So as often happens in dreams, Reverend Rodgers appeared and I asked him. Well, he proceeded to give me a very long answer, which I no longer recall, but it had something to do with different sects having different versions of that benediction, and he was citing chapter and verse.
And the dream just got weirder and weirder after that.
But it did motivate me to look up my confirmation picture from June, 1962: