There’s a Christmas cactus blossom on the top edge of the YouTube page for Wangen Prairie Lutheran Church, physically located in rural Goodhue County, established in 1901 as a Norwegian Lutheran Church.
On Sunday, Jan. 10, 2021, the first scene on the recording of their worship service shows a little wooden manger up front with pure white linens spilling out over the edges. We hear a female and a male voice singing a duet with the piano. During the organ accompaniment for the hymns the camera focuses closeup on the mural of adult Jesus with a silvery spherical halo.
One of the readings is from the creation story in Genesis. Before the central theme of the sermon, Pastor Shannon shared an insight from a prior lesson telling believers to “bless God,” which seems a bit audacious and misdirected. But then it dawned on him that the Spirit that is in us all was there at the very beginning of time — an “eternal moment.” His advice being don’t dismiss something right away if you don’t understand it or it makes you uncomfortable, sit with it for a little bit.
Pastor’s other moment was realizing that the sin Christ had washed away at his baptism was “all sin,” which he willingly took upon himself, set amidst the origins of life on Earth.
After a little more interaction with those present including eye contact, listing names in prayer and an “Ooh!” of delight in anticipation of a popular hymn, he introduced a speaker — a person who was not a “nothing doer.”
We got to hear firsthand from someone who was in Washington on Jan. 6. She walked us through her day, from the president’s speech going long to walking past the Canadian embassy, noticing disconcertingly that there were no guards at their usual stations at the Capitol and arriving at the ornate antique bus stops she’s familiar with to find Darth Vader characters and others in costumes “goading” people to get up the steps and go into the Capitol. She insisted to the small group with her that they “not do that.” She’d really wanted to go on the peaceful prayerful march that was planned and just stand outside as a witness and be seen.
Concluding consensus was that a local family needed furniture, specifically a dresser. Also, prayers for healing for a COVID patient home from the hospital who still needs supplemental oxygen and is dealing with some physical heart issues — big as his soulful heart may be.