After nearly 24 hours of high winds and pounding rain, there is a bit of sun showing from behind the grey clouds and the temperature is back up above 0 degrees! YAY!
Driving out of town to a Thanksgiving dinner last night was a miserable experience. The wind was blowing soaking tree leaves across our windshield as we approached the town where our friends live and it was very difficult to see as the windshield wipers struggled valiantly to remove them. Coming home a few hours later was just as frightening, maybe more so, as the sun had gone down and there are so few lights anywhere along that stretch of highway.
The turkey dinner and the company we ate it with made the wretched drive worthwhile. It was great fun to see one of our former parishioners there. We had a marvellous visit with her. The young woman who cooked the turkey and made the stuffing really outdid herself and wow, it was so delicious. The hostess created a delicious, crustless, pumpkin/squash pie for dessert. The lack of crust meant I could have a small taste of it. YUMMY! There were kids and cats and people and lego pieces all over the house and we had so much fun.
The morning church service went very well indeed. Slowly some of the younger families are drifting back to church again now that there is a regular priest to supplement the leadership. We all ready have to scout out a Sunday School teacher so that they can have their own time and space rather than trying to amuse themselves in the service itself. Praying we can find someone who will be interested and gifted in doing that. Most of their parents have been away from church for so long that we don't want them to have to lead the Sunday School and miss their own opportunity to be spiritually fed and to participate in the fellowship.
My husband gave a good sermon using the lectionary readings from, Job, Psalm 22 and Hebrews as he explained how often we get to the thanksgiving part of our spiritual lives DURING and AFTER passing through many painful experiences. Being a Christian means, in a sense, getting a "heart transplant" from God as he tries to transform us into a better image of who he created us to be in the first place. Many painful experiences can ensue as we learn how to find God and lean on him and even praise him for his faithfulness in the midst of less than stellar circumstances. Knowing some of the situations some of our current parishioners face, it seemed timely. I was personally relieved not to have to listen to the "same old, same old" message of Thanksgiving that I have heard so many times over the years; messages that are all about some kind of feel good God who doesn't want us to ever suffer and who seems powerless somehow to help us face the truths and realities of being human on planet earth. I always called that god "fuzzy wuzzy God" and it never seemed right to me that on Thanksgiving weekend all the Christians are supposed to forget how miserable their experiences have been lately and act as if God has nothing to do with anything that to us seems bad, spewing out praises we aren't certain we are honestly feeling. I appreciate sermons that present a bigger picture than the immediate circumstance, so enjoyed my husband's sermon immensely. There was not one mention of the idea of "God's perfect will" vs "what God allows", (a concept I don't believe in anyway because I think God's thoughts are ultimately a bit too mysterious for humans to sort through and understand definitively), in an attempt to placate us about our problems and take the blame off God for what is going on in our lives. There was no defending God for being God in this sermon.
So, today I am going to rest my leg a lot, other than my 30 reps of physio. It was a happy, busy weekend and now I am tired. I am relieved to look outside and see dry pavement and some tree leaves that are still defiantly green. My husband is off work today and that always means it is going to be a good day.