Monday, April 09, 2007

Easter Sunday

On Easter we had a baptism for a 2 yr old. He was quite precious. We were concerned that he would be less than precious because he had strep. However, with the aid of antibiotics, he had recovered enough by Sunday morning to be precious.

But let me back up: I usually have my acolytes help with baptisms. When they get to help with baptisms, they feel important instead of used. Master Youngest of Five has been acolyte when no one else would. Of course, the girls were there but not willing. So over and over, Master Youngest of Five has lit the candles, recieved the offering, snuffed the candles, and entertained both the choir and minister while doing the most reverent of tasks. He has danced, he has tripped on his untied shoes, he has had his shirt half tucked and half untucked, he has gone to his pew before the Doxology was completed, and all the while we think he is cute. And so we gently encourage him to mend his ways and we tell him how glad we are that he is an acolyte.

So on Easter Sunday the question was posed: Do we have any acolytes? There was not an obvious positive answer forthcoming, so I went and recruited Master Youngest of Five. I was telling him that we had a baptism this morning and I could really use his help. His twin sister, regularly one of the unwilling girls, was standing nearby and was willing to acolyte if she could help with the baptism. I gently explained that I thought it was fair that he get to since he has acolyted so many times when no one else would. It must have been an acceptably fair response because there was no protest offered to the explanation.

When Master Youngest of Five lit the candles he was all tied and tucked but not by the time the baptism rolled around. Regardless, he did a great job!

Now back to the 2 yr old with strep: During the beginning of the liturgy, the Baptisee was fussing and switching back and forth between mom and dad. I thought, "This could be interesting." But when I dipped my hand in the water letting it fall into the font, his attention was captured. His mom had been to the Holy Land several years ago and we added Jordan River water to the water in the font -- he was facinated.

When it was time, I asked him, "Will you come here?" He readily came to me. I said, "We have some water here. Do you want to see it?" He reached toward the font. I asked, "Do you want to touch it?" As he put his hand in the water, he said, "Water" very, plainly into my lapel mic. I said, "I'm going to put some water on your head in just a minute." As I put the water on his head, he leaned toward my hand. After the baptism, I gave him back to mom. He leaned toward the font saying, "Water, water." So I took the font back to him, he put his hand in the water, and then on his head right where it was already wet. The congregation loved it, the parents were smiling, the grandparents were beaming.

It was time to move on so I said, "Okay, let's say goodbye to the water. Bye, bye water." And he waved goodbye while saying, "Bye, bye, water."

I think this one might be my favorite baptism.

when improvement isn't

I used to have an ID for Google and an ID for Blogger. Now they have been combined without me saying I wanted them to be together. Damn. I wish somebody would ask me before they go messin' with my stuff.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Maundy Thursday


Etymology: Middle English maunde ceremony of washing the feet of the poor on Maundy Thursday, from Anglo-French mandet, from Latin mandatum command; from Jesus' words in John 13:34

While I think it's clear I don't like footwashing, I do believe that living out the command "love one another" is our calling.

I'm ending my sermon tonight with this.

Edward Hays wrote GIVE ALL OF YOURSELF in "Psalms for Zero Gravity: Prayers for Life's Emigrants"

Beloved Jesus, Lord of the Meal, I rejoice
that a mother and a father,
laboring for their family,
begin and end each day's work saying,
"This is my body, this is my blood."

An adult child nursing a sick elderly parent
with compassion and patient care says,
"This is my body, this is my blood."

A volunteer giving time to a needy cause
without thanks or acknowledgment says,
"This is my body, this is my blood."

A preacher, with prayerful study, preparing a homily
that no one may remember or be moved by, says,
"This is my body, this is my blood."

A singer forgetting self and the audience,
making love out of the music, says,
"This is my body, this is my blood."

Artist or teacher, dancer or doctor,
auto mechanic or office worker
attending to each detail of their work
with full-hearted involvement, proclaim,
"This is my body, this is my blood."

Ten thousand thousand consecrations occur daily,
as all heaven's angels chime in,
"Holy, holy, holy,"
to the thunderous praise
of a thousand silent silver bells.
Listen. Listen.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

spring break and Holy Week

The calendar for school year 2007-2008 has been released by the local school board. Due to an early Easter in 2008, Spring Break is scheduled for Holy Week. The ministerial group is writing letters and encouraging others to write letters requesting that the schedule be changed for 2008. They are concerned that Spring Break vacations will lead to lower attendance during Holy Week services and Easter Sunday.

The Spring Break week is the same week in the month that it has been for the last two years, if not more. I'm wondering how many times Holy Week has fallen on someone else's holy days. I don't always pay attention to the beginning of Passover or the Orthodox Christian Holy Week and I'm clueless when it comes to other religions.

So, on the one hand, I agree with the letter writing and, on the other hand, I'm wondering if we are being shortsighted somehow.


Have you ever seen the movie Roommates? We watched it in the grief class last week. What a great movie. If you cry, you'll need a box of kleenex. If you don't cry, you might need a kleenex.

Throughout the movie there is life happening in the face of death. The grandfather, played by Peter Faulk, ends up raising his grandson. The family dynamics and the coping, or lack of coping, with death is portrayed so well. I don't think I would have ever rented it myself. But I sure am recommending it now that I've seen it.
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