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Precious in the sight of the Lord are children who are being potty trained

by davesandel on January 10th, 2022

Monday, January 10, 2002                                         (today’s lectionary)

Monday of the First Week of Ordinary Time

Precious in the sight of the Lord are children who are being potty trained

And there we were, the old Vitamix and other packed boxes, audible books, online church services and me, driving along in my automobile. And I brought, from Mom’s bedroom wall, a beautiful painting of an angel and two little children. I hoped the glass would not get broken on the trip.

Precious in the eyes of the Lord is the death of his saints. O Lord, I am your servant, and you have loosed my bonds.

I miss Mom more in her absence than I did when I said goodbye after short visits before she died. Walking around the house, I can almost see my memories coming to life. Then, driving through Illinois, Missouri, Oklahoma and Texas, listening to books set in Hogwarts, North Dakota and the farming country of England, I kind of lost track of who I am and when. The present moment was elusive.

Chris, Aly and I had lunch at Culver’s in Springfield, Illinois, and after touring their magnificent new church building I drove to Springfield, Missouri. Writing. Sleep. Sunday morning breakfast at Cracker Barrel, appropriately titled “Old-Timer’s Breakfast.”

Listening to the service of Zion Lutheran Church in Lincoln, Pastor Mark talked confessionally. “If I say, ‘love your enemies’ often enough, maybe I’ll start doing it.” He described the Lutheran skill of living in the now and not yet. “I still sin, but I know one day I will not. And I think we Lutherans are pretty good at living in both those worlds at once.”

How shall I repay the Lord for all the good he has done for me? I must offer a sacrifice of praise.

After the Lincoln service I stole glances at the Grace Covenant service in Austin. After several weeks our pastor Matt returned to preaching from surgery and covid-exposure. He took his time tearing up a Bible in front of our eyes. He kept tearing out the pages and chapters that higher criticism has challenged for a hundred years, the miracles, people who haven’t been identified by archaeology or history books, the descriptions of despicable behavior by God (like killing all those prophets of Baal in 1 Kings 19), etc. The pile of torn up pages got higher and higher, and the Bible got smaller and smaller.

John was arrested, and Jesus came to Galilee proclaiming the Gospel of God: “This is the time of fulfillment. The Kingdom of God is at hand. Repeat, and believe.

I got home in Austin to see a stunning sunset. It was too dark, too late, and I was too tired to unload much of the car. Jasper is coming to our house this morning for the first time since Christmas. So much covid, and now everyone is better. Jasper has been potty training for a few days, and today we’ll get a chance to help. That sounds exciting, doesn’t it?

Come after me, and I will make you fishers of men. He called them, and they left their father in the boat.

I remember nothing from my own experience as a kid, or even as a parent. Margaret was much more involved in training our kids than I was. I feel a little guilty, but I think I’ll have my chance with Jasper today.

(1 Samuel 1, Psalm 116, Mark 1)

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