14 November 2013

Sunday's Joys and Sorrows

Sunday began with great joy. Not only did I get to hear my son-in-law teach on Augsburg V and XIV, but also preach a fine homily and best of all: baptize my granddaughter, Annabelle Scarlett. As AC confesses, then, Pr. Herberts was the instrument through whom the new life of the kingdom was given! Here are some pics:

Great joy indeed. We left shortly after the liturgy and began the long road home. We'd made it up into the mountains when Cindi got a text with a horrible picture. St. Paul's was on fire! Paula kept us updated. Here are some of the pics she shared with us:

Thanks be to God, it was Sausage Supper and people were around and it was caught almost right away - yet even so, what a mess. I stuck my nose through the door before choir tonight and what a reek! Keep our dear Pastors Ball and Gleason in your prayers!!! I'm suspecting that we'll be worshipping in the school for a while as the cleanup commences. So instead of Lydia being baptized in our peaceful and beautiful sanctuary this Sunday, it will be a temporary set up in the gym. But even so, there's much to rejoice in, for baptism's great strength and power hang not at all on the outward trappings, no matter how fitting and lovely. The Word with the water will deliver the goods: forgiveness of sin, rescue from death and the devil, and eternal salvation. And what is more beautiful than that, eh? And, if there is a blessing for us personally in this, Cindi and I get to sing a special Agnus Dei this Sunday and the gym is nice and echoey - which covers a multitude of boo-boos! But make no mistake, for all of us at St. Paul's, this is worse than a kick in the gut. We love this house, this place where the Lord's gifts are given out so faithfully, so reverently, so joyously. And we're going to be grieving until Pastor makes us glad by announcing to us once again: "Let us go into the house of the Lord!"


J.G.F. said...

Oh, how sad, my brother! We will be keeping the people at St. Paul's in our prayers, both personally and at altar. Is there anything that they need? That smoke damage can be hideous, but thanks be to God, it looks like the building remains.

When I was a parishioner at Martin Luther Chapel, Pennsauken, NJ, I came home from Concordia for Christmas vacation. When my dad picked me up at the bus stop, he told me that our church was on fire. We went, and stayed there for hours as the fire department fought it. The building was a total loss, and to add insult to injury, it was an arson fire, started by a Confirmand who got mad at our pastor. But we rebuilt, and the sanctuary was restored about a year later. We, too, had a school, and used the gym for that year. Thanks to the artistic talents of our pastor, the Sainted Chick Garton, Christmas was saved, an altar, pulpit, lectern, altar rail and cross were built. It really brought our congregation together as never before-- a tool that God used for good for many years to come. God bless, Bill!

William Weedon said...

Yup, you know our grief. But also our joy - the building wasn't destroyed, DG. It will be an odd Christmas. God willing, maybe Easter will be with renewed joy in a refurbished nave???