There was a pitcher of water on a pedestal during the opening scenes of the worship video for Oct. 25, 2020, at First Presbyterian Church in Red Wing.
The current maximum occupancy of 20 people attending worship had been reached. Some were there for the baptism, which took place toward the end of the service under a tent in the courtyard. There was still some white snow clinging to green leaves. The mother’s long sweater was shared with the young initiate.
Well before that, there were visual and verbal announcements about “hiking and doughnuts” concluding, yoga commencing and the men’s book club continuing.
The organist’s pretty autumnal colored mask matched the rest of her outfit. Pastor Heidi’s mask read “This pastor loves you.”
During the hymns, those watching at home were encouraged to sing. Those present in the pews were asked to meditate on the words projected on the screen. For special music, there was an ensemble of six singers in choir robes, stoles and masks performing evenly spaced in front of the impressive organ pipes. They were brought to life with a click of a finger from Pastor Heidi after her sermon.
The scripture was about a lawyer asking Jesus to say which one of the many commandments (way more than the top 10) was the most important. Answer: You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul and mind. Secondly, love your neighbor as yourself.
Pastor says she really wishes there was an extensive and detailed “how-to manual” to go along with that. Having studied up on various understandings and approaches, she had a few suggestions.
First, increase your knowledge of the word of God — read, study, memorize, pray and practice it in your daily lives.
Listen. As a poem she read goes, “listen as if you can’t always tell what the truth is.” Consider that you might be wrong, and remember that love matters.
Also, experience some spiritual freedom that prioritizes and organizes your decisions about how you spend your time, money and your own unique influence.
“May it be so.”