Starting with the most recent devotion, #29, seemed like a good idea at the time, but in retrospect maybe not so much.

It took me awhile to get comfortable with the online video presentation being offered by Interim Pastor Chris at Saint Paul Lutheran Church, Pine Island. Although, judging from the rather odd and somewhat disturbing pictures he used, and words like “conundrum,” comfort might not have been what he was going for.

Agreeing with his contention that judging others defines you more than it does them, I’ll have to mull it over a bit more (including flashbacks to an interim pastor I once worked with). The wording on one of his closing posters read, “Don’t judge others because they sin differently than you do.” I’m all about advocating for awareness in general and warning against hypocrisy specifically. So, thanks for that.

Back to more of that lovely piano music that lured me in in the first place. On the worship video for Nov. 15, 2020, there were even closeups of the musicians’ graceful hands and hopeful tunes that stuck with me for hours.

Wearing a colorful stole depicting a fish and wheat, Pastor Chris stood in front of a picture of the Greek letters alpha and omega, by the red glass cylinder of an eternal flame.

He explained that the same readings are used every three years as set out in a common lectionary. This version used the words, “trustworthy slave” vs. the phrase that rises up from my memory — good and faithful servant. Pastor further explained they were most likely full-fledged financial advisers, because they were dealing with “a ton of money.” The main difference with the third guy was he “never really tried.” The idea is that effort counts for something on the positive side of the spiritual ledger.

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Concluding remarks, given this season of darkness in more ways than one, were to learn from the perspective of others, but be sure to let your own light shine. “We’ve all been given something to work with.”

As for the season nearly upon us, 6:30-7:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 13, there are plans for a live nativity. As you recall, it wasn’t a large crowd...