First Sunday in Advent

 It was one of those “serving” kind of weekends. On Friday night I served at the Seniors and Singles Dinner. Some good folks, both women and men, take it upon themselves every other month or so to organize an amazing dinner for the seniors and singles of our church. For only $10.00, they get mashed potatoes and gravy, meatballs, ham, baked beans, corn, green beans, applesauce, an assortment of rolls and breads, cauliflower and carrot casserole, seven-layer salad, cheesecake with raspberries, lemon squares and diabetic Mississippi mudpie. Not a word of a lie. All that, and seconds, for $10.00. Volunteers like me show up to serve and to help clean up. After dinner, the seniors play shuffleboard or cards or just sit and talk.

I served alongside my catechism student, Hannah, and her sister, Mackenzie, who was in my catechism class two years ago, and their mom, Tracy, who was my student in Grade 7 and Grade 8 at John Knox, and their grandma, Gertie. And NO, I’m not old enough to have taught her… :-). I chatted with fellow-gardeners Anita and Theresa as we cleaned up all the dishes, separating the “good” silverware from the ordinary silverware and putting all the dishes away. I snapped some photos for the next DVD I make about our church family.

Today I had to serve as an usher at church. That’s one of my new volunteer jobs, but it’s darn easy – just smile and hand out bulletins. The only hard part about that job is getting myself out the door in time. I had my camera with me again so I could take some shots of our guest bell ringers from Christ Church Anglican. These mature women in their bright red blouses were simply beautiful to me. Their black gloved hands rose and fell gracefully as they played their bells. I was amazed by the hushed hum they coaxed from the bells as they waved wooden wands around them.

 It was my turn to teach Sunday school today to my special needs student. I asked him if he wanted me to pray for anything special. He said, “No, everybody’s good,” so we thanked the Lord that everyone in his family is good and we prayed for our church family upstairs, too. The story today was about the ten lepers, all of whom said, “Please, Jesus, heal me,” but only one of whom returned to say “Thank you.” He was delighted with the story because it included the sign language for “please” and “thank you,” and he knew those signs. We completed our Sunday school papers and then played Pop-a-matic Trouble. We were getting lots of sixes, so we raced through the game. Today I won. Usually I don’t. We read a rhyming book about Zaccheus and then the considerate custodian brought him a cup of juice and then we were done.

 I had nursery duty in the afternoon service. There were only two children, a brother and sister, both cute as a button, and they both cried when their mom left. In no time, I had the little girl sharing a book with me and the little guy arranging farm animals in a barn. He laughed when I tried to put an elephant in the barn. “That doesn’t belong,” he told me. We read a lot of books. I read two different versions of “The Wheels on the Bus,” singing the song both times. I wasn’t even embarrassed that my teenaged assistant was there listening. He’s heard me sing many times anyway because he was my student back in Grade 5.

 We chatted a bit. He told me how school was going, about his summer job roofing with his dad, and what he hopes to do when he’s done high school. He wants to be a math teacher, so we talked about teaching for a bit. I told him it was an awesome career and he’d be good at it. He brought me up-to-date on his brothers and sister and told me about his Doberman.

 So, a busy weekend. Psalm 1:6 tells us that the Lord watches over the way of the righteous. Heaven knows I’m far from righteous. I know some of my own sins and failures all too well. The Lord knows them all. But a weekend like this brings me hope. My sinful self is there, counted, among God’s righteous people. I’m doing my best to be a blessing to them and they are, in turn, blessing me. God is watching over us all. I find hope in that.


One thought on “First Sunday in Advent

  1. A busy weekend for you! Proud of your servant heart, Cathy — and inspired (as I always am by your actions and words) to do likewise.

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