Notes from Jan

Settling in the Land of Hope

February 28, 2017

A favorite search, when traveling, is finding a church to attend on Sunday.  Choosing traditional services often sets me among white, gray, blue or no hair folks, instead of near amps, the size of  small closets, and drums. Need to watch becoming rigid, since Basil’s interested in “taking drums.” I’ve not shared where I’d take them. Though, can’t imagine a symphony or band without the percussion section.

This past Sunday found me at Hope Lutheran Church in Palm Desert, nestled among a number of Minnesotans, judging by friendliness, accents, and Scandinavian names. Good to be among kinfolk.

The church bulletin read, “Transfiguration Sunday: a bridge between the Advent-Christmas-Epiphany cycle, ending today and the Lent-Easter cycle, beginning Ash Wednesday.”  Each handout included a slip of paper with the word Alleluia.  At the end of the service,  children roamed, collecting the word which would not be spoken or sung again until Easter.  Joyful Alleluia buried in a box, along with hope, unless one knows the rest of the story.

What if we could only utter Christ has died?

Why bother?

Sunday’s minister reminded us Lent’s a form of giving to God. It’s an offering, like a tithe, roughly a tenth of a year. He suggested instead of doing without, we might consider doing for.  What could we do each day to give joy to someone, to share God’s love?

In Acts 2 in the Message, there’s a reference to a Psalm in which David believes, having sensed God’s presence, nothing can shake him, somewhat like Peter, James and John experienced at the Transfiguration of Jesus in Mark 9. David exclaims, “I’ve pitched my tent in the land of hope.”

Which is where I’ll stake my claim, hope-land, until faith becomes sight, alleluias never cease, and saints go marching in, probably while drummers drum.




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  • Reply Rita Dovw February 28, 2017 at 10:11 pm

    “What could we do each day to give joy to someone, to share God’s love?” Thank you, Jan. I will personalize this into my daily prayer during this Lenten season. I see you started already! Much love to you.

  • Reply Radina Welton February 28, 2017 at 10:47 pm

    A well-written piece enjoyed by this half Scandinavian. Learned something new as I too grew up in the closer to Baptist tradition: Allelulias are “put away” during Lent. I don’t think I can do that with this particular Lent being darker than ever. Must peek ahead to what’s coming in Spring to live in peace and joy.

  • Reply valerie mccoy February 28, 2017 at 11:07 pm

    I always dislike having to tuck away “blessed day that art hallowed forever”. Can I please just humm it to myself? (-:

  • Reply Shirley March 1, 2017 at 1:27 pm

    Nice, Jan! Hope … one of my favorite words and the only “place” to live.
    Hugs from rainy CT.

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