Owning a piece of the same homestead that my ancestors settled makes me a steward of this earth. Like my parents and grandparents, there are days when I am sweaty and exhausted from good honest work in the soil; there are days when I sit in my cushioned chair on the deck admiring the clouds. I am fortunate to have ”one foot in the city” and “one foot on the farm.”
church we finished the many services of Advent and Christmas and last week held
Vespers for Epiphany.The candle glow
filled the church as we sang carols and the evening vespers.Incense added to the liturgy perfectly…..”Let
my prayer rise before you as incense….”
the images, odors and sounds of the church, especially as we celebrate the days
of Christmas and Epiphany.Even as a
child the smells and sounds were an important association with church.
childhood church was not Lutheran – just a simple rural church where farmers
and small town folks gathered for worship.We didn’t always have a presiding minister, so perhaps the the theology was
a bit thin at times, but our church was filled with the lives of the families
who lived there.We had little formality
in the services and few financial resources.We had what we brought to it.
spring I helped my mother cut the best of our lilacs for the altar. We were
never allowed to cut them otherwise.Myshoes were wet from the dew on
the cold grass but I was pleased to sit in the back seat of the ’52 Chevy
holding a huge vase of lilacs on my knees, my face buried in that heavenly smell.The church would be filled with the smell of
lilac for a few weeks and other flowers as the seasons progressed.
was no children’s church, so kids stayed in adult church during service.I was grateful for a warm sunbeam on the oak
pew that brought out a mild smell of polish. The hymnal had an old musty smell
to accompany our song. The spare and open sanctuary added emphasis to the few
sensory images present.
the sensory rich services we have at Gloria Dei. I love the sounds, especially
the bells. The aromas from candles and flowers and occasional incense are
welcome.Every sense speaks to us of our
faith and the presence of Christ in us.
Our church smells - and I can only say, thank God it does.