We woke up to a picturesque Alberta winter scene this morning - big flakes of snow had piled themselves up against our windows and doors and they were still coming down when we piled ourselves into the car to head to church. A lot of people decided they'd let the snow be an excuse to stay home and enjoy another day of Christmas. I can't say I blame them.
Because there were only a few kids in each Sunday school class, we combined a bunch and I got to sit in on the adult class which was also combined. There are normally two adult classes - one taught by a very young man who will one day, I believe, be a theologian of no mean mind. The other is a grey-haired fiddle-playing rancher who uses story-telling to teach what he sees in the scriptures. I enjoy sitting under both of these men, but it was a special treat for me to be there today when the older man took over the class.
He talked about how he doesn't like Christmas much, until he can disassociate himself from the hussle, and focus on what the season really means. He took one of our church hymnals and turned to a familiar carol. He read the words. Slowly. Then flipped to another and read the words. Slowly. He repeated this process over and over and, slowly, we all were wrapped in a spirit of wonder and comfort and joy that was topped off when he played the last carol on his old violin. The man is missing a thumb but he makes that instrument sound so sweet. I wasn't the only one with tears in my eyes.
When he tried to close the class, well, words failed. There really wasn't any need to say anything more. We quietly and, yes, slowly, made our way into the sanctuary for the service, our spirits uplifted, our hearts prepared.
All glory to God.