Friday, November 30, 2007

My Wife and the Litugy

Mary is truly wonderful. She's my best friend. And I am merciless in teasing her, I shouldn't be. She's so nice to me. She read the last post on the dentist pulling Clara's tooth and was (in 1980s valley girl speak) totally grossed out.

But let me tell you how wonderful she is, today, a day of recovery from illness, she went to get a toilet gasket for me. We have this one toilet that has something stuck in it. Tomorrow I'll have to bail it out and remove the blockage. But Mary was willing to go get the wax gasket for the toilet, not the most romantic task. Perhaps she enjoyed the time away from all the kids, but I prefer to think of it as an act of love.

Although, when she got home she was singing.

"I'm so hot for her, I'm so hot for her, I'm so hot for her, She's so cold."

I suppose it was just the catchy way that Mick Jaeger sings. It is a catchy tune from our youth. But it does leave one wondering how much pop culture affects us. I don't think I've heard the song in over 20 years. But I could recall the lyrics just as well as she could.

Right now the lyrics for "The Cowboy and the Poet" are running through my head. I'm memorizing my sermon for the morning, the 1st Sunday in Advent. I'd prefer that "O Come, O Come, Imannuel" were running through my head.

It's like the old computer programmers said: "GIGO: Garbage In=Garbage Out." So, tonight I'm trying to fill my head with something that ain't garbage.

Yet the refrain runs on "its faster horses....." How pathetic am I.

It's times like this that I appreciate the value of the Liturgy. I am privileged to have the opportunity to repeat it 4 times each weekend. That means, counting special services, I've gone through it more than 1200 times in the past 6 years. Repetitio matre studiorum est, Repetition is the mother of all studies. The theology and biblical texts of the Liturgy become like breathing. Of course, one should think about them while performing them. But it's nice to know that the Liturgy, like breathing, can carry us through God's Word if we are distracted or feeble minded.

I've had elderly members victimized by Alzheimer's disease or some kind of dementia that were able to go through the liturgy when they couldn't remember me or their own name. What a wonderful testimony concerning repetition and grounding Christians in the biblical text and Gospel message of the Confessional Lutheran Liturgies. When we are feeble, we know best what we've repeated most. GIGO is a great warning. Let us keep from the garbage and keep repeating the Law and the Gospel.

No comments: