Sunday, December 25, 2011

Christmas 2011: Road Trip Edition

I'm currently sitting in the Harju living room in Duluth feeling pretty content after a long day of driving. I have to say, this was probably the best road trip I've had with my brother in quite a long time. We had a audiobook we both could agree on (Divergent - it's like Hunger Games set in Chicago), we didn't argue at all about church/worship styles, and he didn't fake hypoglycemia the whole way! So, all in all, it was a good Christmas. I will never enjoy the drive through Wisconsin. I swear the billboards alternate between cheese and adult superstores with maybe a pro-life billboard thrown in. I think the most confusing I saw this year was: "God Bless America: Life Begins at Conception." How are those two related? It's like saying, "Happy Hanukkah: CFC's Accelerate Ozone Depletion."

Also, my stint as Christmas pastor went well. Both services went off without a hitch (I mean, our pianist who I will not name did skip the Psalter lesson Christmas Eve, but I'll let it go this time.) even if attendance was a bit slim. I think it's a bit harder to preach when there's only 25 people there because you can see everyone's instant reaction instead of focusing on the group as a whole if that makes sense. I felt like the Monsignor in the first scene at the church in Sister Act: "We are a small congregation this morning...too many mornings" (obviously the last part is not true).

And a nice ending to the night was seeing D Rose stick it to the Lakers.

The Lakers losing feels like a fulfillment of the Magnificat. You know, the proud being scattered in their conceit and the rich being sent away empty. Now if only the Packers would have lost, it truly would have been a good Christmas. Oh well, a boy can dream.

Now, we're going to start Home Alone 2, so I'm out. Wishing you and yours a Merry Christmas. I'll leave you with the third verse (in the Covenant Hymnal) of "It Came Upon a Midnight Clear," which for some reason was the verse of hymnody that struck me this year:

O you beneath life's crushing load,
whose forms are bending low,
who toil along the climbing way
with painful steps and slow;
look now, for glad and golden hours
come swiftly on the wing;
O rest beside the weary road
and hear the angels sing.

I love that last part. Sometimes when we aren't feeling the Christmas spirit (this isn't my personal experience this year, but it just struck me for some reason) or we cannot feel the hope and joy ourselves, the best we can do is sit beside the road and listen to the cosmos praise God. I like that.

1 comment:

  1. Dave - I felt the same way toward "It Came Upon a Midnight Clear" this year. Grateful for old hymns.