An unworthy Deacon, named for the brother of God: James, striving to "work out his salvation with fear and trembling" within the Tradition (paradosis) of the Eastern Orthodox Faith. It is a strange and marvelous journey, and I am accompanied by the fourfold fruit of my fecundity. My wife, the Matushka or Diaconissa Sophia, is my beloved partner in the pursuit of Theosis, and she ranks me in every way.
And so we have begun the feast of Christmas, and I have one day back at work here at the end of week before beginning one last long weekend and then routine in all of its mundane glory shall be reestablished.
As you will recall our power returned last tuesday evening and so life had just begun to return to "normal" last weekend when I awoke in the middle of the night to see snow falling wet and heavy. Later I awoke again and noted that we had accumulated several inches and Charissa had awoken complaining about her nightlight being out. So I replaced the bulb and she went to use the bathroom in our room. I went downstairs to use the restroom there and as I did, the lights began to flicker. Then they gave up and darkness again descended upon us.
I looked out the front door to see a great blue-green flash of some unfortunate local transformer transforming itself into a useless hunk of metal and I also noticed the beautiful blanket of snow was now being rained upon - and I could hear the tress groaning: "Enough...uncle...mercy...please." I could relate.
Whatever trees had begun to fall during the windstorm were now being hammered the rest of the way down with wet slushy snow.
Thankfully our power was restored by noon the next day and we went on our way preparing for the feast of the Nativity. Our quest for a tree on our own property turned out to be fruitless - those perfectly conical and heavily branched wonders you see in grocery store parking lots are sorta like glamour models: they don't exist in the real world. We thought we might be able to find a deep discount since it was Christmas eve eve, and so we stopped at one on the way to Vespers. Much to our surprise the lot was dark and upon the door of the abandoned trailer hung a sign which said simply "Free." Now THAT'S a deep discount and so I felt much better about getting a tree from a lot as opposed to our own land.
Christmas was a joy. Nicholas, for the first time, served as an altar boy and the girls sang with thr choir. Charissa had to call it quits a little early (she gave us the impression that she volunteered to leave because she knew she was unable to keep from talking) and Nicho had a little trouble holding still, but overall they all did great and Mom and Dad had the unusual pleasure of not being outnumbered.
There is something special about our little Mission...unpretentious and simple. Open and welcoming. I was nervous about Nicho being back there, but Father was more than just welcoming about it, in fact he instigated the whole affair. "He'll be fine," I was assured. Polished perfection is something we aim for, but it is not the primary target and I definitely get that sense from the spirit of St. Elizabeth's Mission. Of greater importance is that we engage all who wish to help to move us along in the work - the liturgy - of giving glory to God. Perhaps it is the smaller, more intimate setting, but I cannot help but feel that appearances and "worthiness" take a back seat to willingness and strength of heart. I'm not sure I'm making sense...but there it is.
Our new Parish home is, in my mind, one of the best gifts we have been given.
...offered by Dn. James Ferrenberg, a sinner at 10:49 AM [+] +++
Sorry the power issue's been so rough for y'all lately...
Christ is born! Glorify Him! Or, as we say in parts of Texas: ¡Cristo ha nacido! ¡Glorifícale!
The pics are very nice. The quote that "appearances and 'worthiness' take a back seat to willingness and strength of heart" is a good one; we who commune in small mission churches often have to be thankful for what we can get, and the "beggars can't be choosers" mentality reminds us that we are, in fact, all beggars at the door of the loving King.