06 January 2008

Practical piety for Epiphany

It was with particular fervor that I sang the last verse of "O Morning Star, How Fair and Bright" this morning:

What joy to know, when life is past,
The Lord we love is first and last,
The end and the beginning!
He will one day, oh, glorious grace,
Transport us to that happy place
Beyond all tears and sinning!
Amen! Amen!
Come, Lord Jesus!
Crown of gladness!
We are yearning
For the day of Your returning!

I have always loved this hymn. And going to church with my children endows this last verse with new, practical meaning. It's one thing to pray in a general sense for our Lord's return. It's quite another to spend the Words of Institution gritting my teeth and hauling my dear sons out from under the pew--the first occupied pew, I might add, as a series of minor pre-church crises prevented us from arriving in time to claim our usually more discreet location. "Come, Lord Jesus," quickly come! No, I really mean it this time! Transport us to that happy place! Now! Practical piety, indeed.

It sometimes seems rough when the "tears and sinning" so immediately precede reception of the Sacrament--but then again, as has been observed on this blog before, what better time to receive this most precious gift with deep humility and earnest gratefulness?

And the boys really were pretty good for the rest of the service today. Um, except for the prayers. We are yearning for the day of Your returning!

The 3 yr. old did redeem himself at home by recounting parts of the service, volunteering to tell us about Sunday School, and actually getting most of the stuff right, down to details of "gold, frankensense, and murr," and of course the camels. And then he told us he would put on a "drum show" for us (kitchen utensils; you don't think we'd actually get him drums, do you?) if we would sing verses 1, 2, and 5 of "Joy to the World." So I guess the Word of God extends even as far as under the pews. (I know, "Joy to the World" has only 4 verses. But we'll take what we can get.)

A Joyous Epiphany to all!

P.S. We do hope the King cake celebration came off well for R. and co?


Rebekah said...

Terrible morning here too. Poop, pee, demonic maternal reactions (as the former two involved the 3-yr-old, not his younger sister), spilled milk, King Cake prizes destroyed by recently discovered rodent population of pantry, you name it. Oh, and by the way, several people mentioned to me that I'm getting pretty big, in case anyone here was wondering.

Roar. But happy Epiphany, darn it!

elephantschild said...

People were telling me I was getting pretty big when I was about 6 months along. What is it WITH people?

It's like the sight of a pregnant belly instantly turns people obnoxious. Do they think that gal's feelings somehow disappear when they're preggos?

Y'all should keep track of the horrid things said to pregnant ladies... I've got a few other ones, too.

sam said...

I thought the celebration was very nice... and yummy.


Gauntlets said...

RE: Horrible things said to the pregnant.

HOO BOY! When I get my hand back do I have some stories for you!

RE: rodents.

WT . . .? Don't you have a much-beloved cat? Doesn't he smell at least like a cat? I resent deeply cheeky things that fail to mind their places.

RE: 3yo drum show.

Take pictures. I'd like to see that. :)

Reb. Mary said...

EC--You're so right. Why is it never ok to comment on a woman's weight--unless she's pregnant, in which case she's already more sensitive than usual and certainly quite aware of the changes in her dimensions, thank you very much?

On a somewhat related note--why are there a gazillion sizes, half-sizes, and style options in women's clothes, but then in maternity clothes, there's just S,M,L, and XL, and all the different sizes/shapes are expected to fit one of those categories?! Where one part fits, the other doth not!

Gauntlets, we'll count on you to start the post about things said to PG women sometime. Should be cathartic.

Drum show: we can't even figure out where he's ever seen someone playing drums. But I guess with anything that involves violent pounding and lots of noise, our boys are bound either to find it or invent it.

Rebekah said...

Glad we fooled you, Sam!

The freeloading cat's rations are being cut to increase his motivation. He has caught mice in the past, so we know he has it in him. We trapped Hunca Munca yesterday, and we're hoping Tom Thumb will come looking for her soon.

I have abandoned all hope pertaining to clothing for the remainder of this pregnancy. My 5-yr-old doesn't approve of my new all-pajama policy.