The trees and everything else has been/have been covered with 1/2 inch of hoar frost this whole week. It's like looking out on a crystalline paradise of God's own artwork.
I know that so-called "scientists" could say that this beauty is simply a perception of the geometric nature of water freezing out of the air. But "science" can't ever measure beauty, truth, love, or faith.
Wednesday we held Wed. School. This was the last of this semester. The kids knew their lesson well. They all have mothers and fathers who care about how well they know God's Word and God's teaching in His Word.
I did stop by a couple of shut-ins on Thursday. But I've been madly working on sermons this week.
I have the weekend, 4th Sunday in Trinity, a Christmas Program/Chatechization at Mt. Olive on Sat., A funeral wake devotion and sermon plus a funeral sermon for Yvonne G., Christmas Eve sermon, and Christmas Day sermons to prepare.
Thursday evening I held devotion for Yvonne G.'s family. She died at the age of 59, falling in the snow and ice after starting her car. She was going over to her father's place (Bert G's) to fix a meal for him.
She was found 2 hours later.
Yvonne was the oldest of Bert and Irene's 12 children.
Bert's brother, Willie, died last year, and his funeral was just more than a year ago.
Yvonne's aunt, Adeline, died last January. Our parish has had 17 funerals during the past year since Willie died.
Please keep Bert's family in your prayers.
There was a Magpie in front of the house this morning (Friday) eating the cat-food. Back in the 16th and 17th century the Lutheran pastors were mocked by the Reformed churches as looking like Magpies. Lutheran Pastors retained the vestments of the Roman Church while preaching Justification by Faith Alone. The Reformed wanted to have nothing to do with Rome and mocked or destroyed anything that they thought could be considered "Roman Catholic."
The Magpie reminded my of the iconoclasm which lead to so much pointless bloodshed from 1524 and on. Even today Reformed people will reject a cross with the body of Christ portrayed on it because it is "too Catholic." Shame on them. The Apostle Paul said:
- And I, brethren, when I came to you, did not come with excellence of speech or of wisdom declaring to you the testimony of God. For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified. (1 Cor. 1:1-2)
Friday came and so did Yvonne's funeral. When I arrived at Nazareth I talked to Bert and several of his children. When Willie died I had hoped that the family could get together for a photo. But I didn't prepare enough in advance.
All of Bert's children, except his triplet daughters, were present at Yvonne's funeral. Yvonne once told me that she was disappointed that her family didn't get together regularly. So I asked them all if they would stand for family photographs after we came back from Yvonne's graveside committal.
So here we have, Bert, Irene, and the children who could come. Bert had 12 kids. Here are 8 of them. We probably could, and should, have included the Mostroms, the Petersons, the Hanson, Bjerkelies, the Dalens and others along with the Goods.
Here we have direct descendants and spouses of those who could come. Nazareth Lutheran Church is a wonderful mix of Sweedish, Ojibwa, Norwegian, Finnish, and whatever else Heintz 57 mix you could imagine.
But the thing that keeps us together is not just family, but the Gift of God in His Son Jesus Christ.
May you have a blessed Christmas.
After Yvonne's funeral I went down to Alexandria, MN, to meet my parents and pick up my son, Jeremy. I hope my Mom and Dad had a safe trip home. Jeremy and I ran into some really bad ice on the roads when we passed Menahga. The ice continued to Zerkel. Jeremy and I saw several cars in the ditch on the icy stretch. But we got home safely.
My neck and shoulders are quite tense from the icy roads. My knees are sore from the manual transmission. But I've got my sermon memorized for the morning. And, God willing, I'll sleep well tonight.