God love Pastor McClean. Today’s Holy Cross highlight was the country-western version of Here I Am, Lord, complete with cowbell*. It took a verse to comprehend what was happening but I fell into that gutteral twang that lives in the back of my throat when I sing The Stones’s Dear Doctor, Dead Flowers or Country Honk. Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t a Chollie Dann’ils interpretation but it surely hinted that the South, might indeed, ‘do it again’.
We also sang one of the ‘Muppet hymns’ today. Make Me A Servant has that type of toe-tapping, wistful melody you’d hear in Muppets Take Manhattan. It’s not a bad thing; just a thing.
If you ever wonder about the LCMS’s devotion to its members you only need to open the maroon hymnal to the first page and you’ll find several prayers there to help you prepare for different parts of worship. There’s a prayer for having entered the sanctuary. Another one for before the start of service, and another to prepare you for communion and another for after communion and so on. These prayers can help you approach the liturgy with a right frame of mind. Even if you are not LCMS, I’d wager (in a good way) that your church hymnal has similar prayers to help you through your hour of power.
Today’s lesson was about ‘freedom in Christ’. I understand it is a freedom from death/hell/eternal agony/etc (which is good) but all pastors I have heard explain it in a way that makes me feel like I’m missing something. I don’t expect to walk around aimlessly like a glassy-eyed cult kid but most of the time I just feel …. like me. It’s not pastor’s fault. I think I’ve heard the term so many times or seen ‘feel good’ internet posts filled with sunrises and lilies or beaches with single sets of footsteps that the concept just strikes me as cliché. I’ll figure out a way for it to make sense to me.
Final note: When you sit in the back pew, center section and look up front you see the altar and the pastor’s lectern. Behind it is a wall. On the wall are two windows, one to the left and the other to the right of the altar. If you see a car driving from left to right, it takes seven seconds for that car to disappear from the left window and reappear in the right side window. A car that goes the other direction disappears from the right window and reappears at the left window in eight seconds. It’s because there is a hill to the right that slows those cars down.
*Only one clunk on the cowbell, though. It wouldn’t do to be confused with the ELCAs.