In honor of Veterans Day, “America the Beautiful” was sung by the pastor at St. John’s United Church of Christ in Prescott on their worship video for Nov. 8, 2020. It had me hurrying over to the windowsill to successfully glimpse a neighborhood flag waving in the breeze and put my hand over my heart.

“We are witnesses,” was the strong reply of the one voice during the call and response. During the passing of the peace, Pastor Bill Colby-Newton looked off to the side and smilingly said, “Peace, dear.”

One of the readings had the phrase “incline your heart,” another “incline your ear.”

The gospel story was about the bridesmaids running out of oil for their lamps as they waited for the groom to arrive. Pastor said it didn’t really read like good news to make one mistake and later have the door shut in your face. We were told that it was a literal story about customs of the time. It was not meant to discourage rest. It is more about being prepared for a delay — being ready to wait rather than ready to go.

“We know neither the day nor the hour ...”

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Pastor’s scholarly reminder: The original followers of Christ all thought he was coming back during their lifetime. That’s why they didn’t start writing everything down right away.

We heard a story of a veteran giving away all his war memorabilia. His uniform fit his eldest son perfectly. He explained how he had been singled out to stay behind on combat missions because he was “good in math.” He still had a notebook full of his ballistics calculations. He learned to wait for the others to return, not all of them did. He said that he felt the presence of God while he waited.

Pastor said it’s important to “focus on how we chose to be in the waiting.” Adding, “In waiting there is fulfillment.”

In announcements, as posted on their Facebook page along with colorful words of inspiration, people have to wait until next year for the popular German Dinner. Some safety-minded in-person worship is being conducted these days.

Prayers included for those who have gone before us — specifically, that we may be “worthy of the sacrifice.” More about prayer on their webpage: Prayer is “... a vibration, a feeling, a thought,” such as telling someone to “be safe,” and when we help one another.