". . . little shall I grace my cause

In speaking for myself. Yet, by your gracious patience,

I will a round unvarnish'd tale deliver . . ."

(William Shakespeare's Othello, I.iii.88-90)

Sunday, July 17, 2016

A Slice of Heaven

The Divine Service is often referred to as a slice of heaven, and rightly so. When we go to church to have our ears filled with God's Word and our stomachs filled with Christ's Body and Blood, we truly experience a foretaste of the feast to come.

Recently, working as a reporter at the 66th Regular Convention of the Lutheran Church--Missouri Synod, I feel as though I had a week-long slice of heaven. My husband told me it was the happiest he's seen me in a long time. No offense to my kids, who weren't there. :-) But I agree--this past week was the most relaxed I have felt in ages.

Thinking about why that might be, I can't help reflecting on the past 3/5/7 years. It's been a rather long slog. For the first time in a very long time I find myself in a place in life where there isn't a huge life change, crisis, or ordeal either in the very recent past or near future. It seems like many things are finally falling into place. I give thanks for that blessing while telling myself that the current sense of settled-ness could change at any time.

But I think there are also some very concrete reasons that I found this past week so relaxing. I was working, yes. But there was so much that I didn't have to give thought to. I didn't have to figure out what to make for supper. I didn't have to clean. I didn't have to do laundry! I didn't have to make decisions about what needed to be done any given hour of the day because it was all laid out for me: go to this meeting, report on that committee, write that article. With all the walking I also got a good deal of exercise. And then there was the worship three times per day--one day it was even four! Not to mention being surrounded by people, over a thousand of them, who know whence their help and salvation come, and the joy of seeing and spending time with many good friends and several dear ones. 

Sometimes I have thought of heaven as a place where we have ultimate freedom, not only from sin, but to do the things that make us happy. Right now I'm thinking heaven might be kind of like the convention--freedom from having to think about what to do because God has it planned out for all eternity and it's all good! 

Here are a few pictures from the week.

Totally staged first day pic, pretending like I know what I'm doing. 
Thank you to my friend Katie for taking this. 

A few of the contract writers. These ladies rock! 

A few old friends. Lovely young lady and babysitter extraordinaire from a former congregation, and 

homeschooling Lutheran moms!

 Post-convention date with hubby.

Hubby with The Prez.


Portwenn59 said...

Hi Cheryl,
I happened to watch the convention via the internet. I did this mostly to see the worship services and hear the glorious music and singing. One day, your husband happened to be at the organ before the service started and I saw him bow his head and pray before he began to play. What a humbling thing to see. He is so talented and still he prayed. Thanks be to God for our church musicians and reporters. :)


Cheryl said...

Thank you for the lovely comment, Diane!

Pastor Peters said...

Sorry I missed the first course at Mader's! It looked grand on the picture. But I was so happy to see both you and your hubby again. I know exactly what you were writing about -- worship Sunday to Sunday is not enough and there is nothing more wonderful that daily being together in the Word, singing to the joyous leadership of a great organist, and praying with one voice. God bless you.
Pastor Peters