As Advent's second Sunday, the one of peace, draws to its close, I'm thinking back to all the moments in this weekend. It runs in my mind like a little film clip, scenes popping....Friday night at the "Parent's Night Out" which turned out to be the "grown-ups night out" when no kids materialized who weren't somehow connected to the people already there. So we partied on anyway...made reindeer from puzzle pieces, ate pizza and watched the Grinch and the Muppet Christmas Carol. Yep, bunch of grown-ups playing together. And a fabulous time was had by all!
Saturday morning choir practice for Lessons and Carols....I can't even rehearse these things without getting goosebumpy. I get flashbacks from last year on top of the pure joy of singing with people I like being with. Saturday night flashes it's own video clips that make me smile. More playtime, laughter and sweet time spent with my newest friend R.
There would have to be some clips of church if this movie would be complete. Today was a reprise of my new "church sandwich"....my own wonderful place in the morning and a new thing called "WhY Church" in the afternoon. WhY Church has been around for a while, our old mentor priest was one of the folks involved in the start up...he used to urge me to go. "Ok, sure, I said....someday." I knew that the format was basically a little singing, something to kick off discussion, a film clip, something from the news....and then table talk connecting this to God and faith. What I didn't know until I went last week for the first time is that there is warmth and community and concern for the wider community and mission....yeah, it's really church and kind of at it's finest. Oh, and when I came in last week, I felt really welcome. Not like church welcome, but like at your best friend's house welcome. Today R came along. That was special too, having a chance to share that with him. My film clip today from WhY church is R knowing all the words to the Grinch clip that was today's discussion starter. My favorite from this morning would have to be seeing L in his choir robe as we got him outfitted to sing for Lessons and Carols. He of course had to mug for the camera as one of the folks took his picture. He makes me smile.
After church Soul Sister S and I took her 90 year old mom out to see a living Nativity in a little town about 20 miles from here. The clip from there is the camel. Yep. Real live. It was amazing. It was either dancing or trying to stay warm. We opted for dancing. There would have to be a clip of those good bars in the church hall, too. Some I had actually never seen before. I'm wondering if it is a Presbyterian thing since most of my bar exposure has been Lutheran up till now. S's mom thought it a great success all around.
The final clip of the day is a waggy little dog happily enjoying a walk with her doggy pal in the new snow as her mom catches up on the news with the dog pal's mom.
With so many gifts and blessings already having arrived it's hard to believe that it is still early Advent. I am deeply grateful for the joy in my life. It is made more poignant by the awareness that all around me are not so fortunate. It's hard sometimes not to go to guilt but simply to stay in gratitude. And yet....I know that guilt is not a gracious or appropriate response to gifts given in love. So it is my intention to receive with open hands and rest tonight in grateful contentment.