Sunday, November 23, 2008

Life certainly is picking up pace for us - at least it did this weekend. Jayna's family came to Kokomo for Thanksgiving dinner. Steve did pretty well holding up through all that activity. We also watched the grandchildren on Saturday while our son and his wife went to the Notre Dame football game in South Bend IN. (Now, the grandkids wore Steve out more than the Thanksgiving dinner.) Jayna spent about 30+ hours working on the animated light show that Grace UMC will be debuting this next Saturday. AND... Steve's parents spent the night lastnight (Saturday) to spend some time with him on their way home from Branson Missouri.

We were hoping that Steve would be able to come to church today for the first time, but after such a busy day on Saturday, he was way to exhausted. I wanted to worship with Steve today so we "watched" church on the television. As it is our "pastoral" custom, we ususally participate in worship with our congregation and "watching" it just didn't "do it" for us. I am so thankful for a church body that loves the Lord and joins with our spirits to worship and participate together in adoration of our Lord. Participatory worship is a very valuable, precious, joyous thing. I sat there watching the television this morning thinking about what I would be doing if I were in church. . . . I would be processing with the choir - singing out without using my hymnal because the hymn is so familiar. I would catch the eye of 3-4 special people and sneak a little wave or wink as I pass them. Then I would look up in the balcony and smile at the 2-3 people that ususally catch my eye and smile back. I could hear Larry Newburgs beautiful pastoral prayer and smile as Phyllis Jean Smith came to kneel at the altar on behalf of her congregation. I could hear Pastor Chris talk about being thankful (I'm sure Pastor Chris' sermon was excellent for he is a very good speaker). Then, after church I would give (and get) lots of hugs and hear what is going on in the lives of our friends.

That didn't happen for us today by "watching" television. No one winked or smiled at me - I heard a pastoral prayer, but it wasn't delivered from my very own Larry Newburg - I didn't see anyone come to the altar - and the sermon this morning was "pre-recorded". I heard great music, but I really missed smiling at Barb Hobbs (our organist) after she knocked the offertory out of the ballpark. "Watching" worship, I missed all of the love, the joy, the comraderie, and the closeness that I feel when we come together and look into each others eyes to spur each other on for the week to come.

So, as Thanksgiving comes upon us and I was told that Pastor Chris asked us to tell someone in the church what they are thankful for - I am thankful for real, alive, warm, participatory worship with my friends. I am thankful for their smiles, their hugs, their support, their cards, they prayers, their love. Worship, now that is a real gift. Thank you, Lord.


tuhistoryprof said...


In the interest of your continuing recovery, you should probably refrain from watching ND football.


Robin Halberstadt said...

Happy Thanksgiving to both of you. Enjoy the kids, but Steve - take care of yourself.

You and your family are in our prayers.

Robin & Jef Halberstadt