Thankful At All Times
“I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” —John 10:10 (nrsv)
There were more Christmas gifts to open, but my wife, Kate, announced, “Okay, everyone, time to get ready.” Kate is the rector at our small Episcopal church, and she had to lead a morning service.
I gritted my teeth. Why, I wondered, can’t we be like normal families? Everything is different in a clergy household. Sunday is a work day, holidays are work days, Fridays are sermon-writing days, and every week seems to bring some fresh reason why the rector needs to be out several evenings in a row. I’m not always good-natured about this rule of life.
We got dressed, and our son Benji climbed into his stroller. Walking along the quiet streets, I had to admit it was nice to be outside—cool air, bright sun, hillsides tawny with winter-brown grass. A couple dozen people gathered in the sanctuary.
Those wonderful Bible verses were read: “Now the birth of Jesus the Messiah took place in this way.” We gathered around the altar for Communion. I looked around at everyone’s warm, happy faces. Taking the bread and wine, I felt foolish and glad at the same time: foolish for begrudging this wonderful life at the heart of God’s work in the world, glad that my church community, and Kate, loved me anyway.
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