Pastor Peter was all a’flutter. There was the baby. There were the parents. There was the baptismal font. And there was Mick Mooney, to whom he had given bottled water for the font, boasting a malicious grin. The unopened bottle stood, tragically, on the chancel rail. Peter prayed, opened the font. It was filled to the brim. Afterwards, he confessed his surprise to the happy couple. “Oh, that was me,” the new mother said. “I just wanted to say a prayer over the font before the service began when I saw it was empty. I didn’t do wrong, did I?”
Common-Place or “Locus Communis” — a place to remember
Written by Johann Lindemann in 1598, “In Dir Ist Freude” (“In Thee is Gladness”) was translated from the German by Catherine Winkworth almost three hundred years later. Winkworth was a pioneer in promoting women’s rights as well as promoting women’s higher education. Johann Lindemann was one of the signers of the Lutheran Formula of Concord, and served often as a cantor in various churches in his native Germany. The hymn is often performed using J.S. Bach’s arrangement.
In Thee is Gladness
In thee is gladness amid all sadness, Jesus, sunshine of my heart! By thee are given the gifts of heaven, thou the true redeemer art! Our souls thou wakest, our bonds thou breakest, who trusts thee surely hath built securely, and stands forever: Hallelujah! Our hearts are pining to see thy shining, dying or living to thee are cleaving, naught can us sever: Hallelujah!
If he is ours, we fear no powers, nor of earth, nor sin, nor death. He sees and blesses in worst distresses; he can change them with a breath. Wherefore the story, tell of his glory, with heart and voices all heav’n rejoices in him forever: Hallelujah! We shout for gladness, triumph o’er sadness, love thee and praise thee, and still shall raise thee glad hymns forever: Hallelujah!
When I saw the “a vendre” sign, I had to have it! Carolyn would have understood. Her pink Cadillac had been a hand-me down from her sister who’d made a name for herself in Mary Kay sales. Carolyn drove the flashy pink Cadillac just to shock her preacher and her co-parishioners. To them, being too enthusiastic about God was just as vulgar as driving a pink car! But people like me who looked like they didn’t belong in a Manhattan church understood. Now as a missionary, I knew I had to spend my last dime on this welcoming pink boat!
Word count: 100
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“If Narnia’s so religious, how come you can’t find any churches there?” a writer asks.
It’s a reasonable question. Given the Christian framework of Narnia, shouldn’t there be a church, or at the very least a praying figure or a hymn singer or two? And no doubt you’re sitting expectantly at the edge of your ergonomic chair for my response. Right?