Sunday, December 7, 2008

Advent... Day 7

Ahhh... a relaxing day, after all the activity of yesterday :0)

Church, this morning, really "hit the spot", as Gunnar would say. Our pastor is focusing on the names of Jesus, this advent, and today spoke on our Redeemer. Just as the Israelites were redeemed from slavery in Egypt, we are redeemed from slavery to sin. He brought out the comfort offered in Isaiah 40:1-2. Relief.

We missed church last Sunday, due to our trip to the coast, and the Sunday School classes are preparing for the children's Christmas Program. At our previous (and much larger) church, the Christmas program was a Big Production, which usually involved auditions for major roles, weeks of rehearsals, and (often) learning newer unfamiliar music. Participation was optional, and Wyatt and Tate usually opted out.

What a change, this year :0) There are shepherds, angels, and wisemen. The story is right out of Luke 2. And my boys are enthusiastic about being involved... and they're singing TEN SONGS!

Gunnar has already learned his verses, "And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:)... (later) ...And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.." And - I can hardly believe it - Wyatt and Tate are jealous, because he has his own speaking part, and they don't.

Wyatt learned a couple of weeks ago that he would be a shepherd, and volunteered for a speaking part. He was quite disgruntled when Tate announced that his class are also going to be shepherds, and apparently all the shepherds only have one line: "Let's go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about." Picture Wyatt rolling his eyes and saying, "Yeah, all twenty-five hundred of us." Just a bit of an exaggeration. It's a small church :0)

So I'm trying to console Wyatt, because I know he's disappointed not to be unique, and Tate, because he would like to be a Wise Man (more like a wise-guy!) instead of a shepherd, but inside I'm thrilled because these boys want to be involved and engaged, rather than just being spectators. Because they are becoming part of the church, not just an audience at a show.

Home all afternoon. Kerry and the boys put up the outdoor Christmas lights. Years ago I bought several boxes of blue icicle lights on sale, and had forgotten them. Since it's wet and drippy here, (read "slippery"), and Kerry didn't want to get out the big ladder or go up on the roof, he opted NOT to hang the lights from the eaves, where you would expect to find icicles, but instead strung them up in a horizontal line around the middle of the house, between the first and second floor.

I appreciate the effort, I really do, but I can't help thinking that our house looks like those hippos in tutus, from Fantasia.

Gunnar, thrilled that his turn has come around again, pulled out "An Amish Christmas", by Richard Ammon. Very sweet :0)

In spite of the competition over who gets to light the Advent candles, the devotion went well. Tate launched right into our carol for the evening, "Joy to the World", with such gusto that I hated to stop him. But being unable to match, identify, or join him in the key in which he was singing, I tried to tactfully suggest that maybe we'd better begin again, all together. Whew.

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