The camera was focused on the magnificent stained glass window up front for the start of their first live-streamed video at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Red Wing on Sunday, Feb. 14, 2021. The finials on the top of the flag poles were just visible at the very bottom of the screen.
Less than two minutes in, piano music started and continued for a good 10 minutes or more. Some renditions were quite jazzy, including flourishes on those high pitched, long reached right hand keys. It was fun to have phrases come to mind such as “a living vine” and “his eye is on the sparrow“ as well as, “fair is the sunshine.”
I thought of a cartoon I saw on Facebook of a woman in bunny slippers with bed hair and a cup of coffee shuffling down the center aisle of a church. Tempting.
“Thru many dangers, toils and snares I have already come.”
Pastor Dana explained Foundation money helped pay for the three cameras — a trinity. “It is good for us to be together,” she said to those in attendance and those watching online.
One of the capable young readers got to say more than once, “Yes, I know, keep silent.” (I can imagine having said something similar, but less politely, to family members when I was about that age.)
Pastor explained that Peter got so excited about the mountain top experience, he “wanted to build tiny houses and stay there.
“Jesus didn’t stay in the manger, on the mountain top or in the tomb.”
It was suggested we imagine what dazzling white light might do if it shone where we’re “distracted, despairing and uncertain.” She recommends a simple “radical” prayer: “Lord, transfigure my life” — repeat frequently with feeling.
There was applause for a masked duet off to the side offering blessed assurance. Pastor announced the location of signup sheets (complete with sanitized pens) specifically for readers to lend their voices up front, and greeters to point out mask options and communion kits.
The postlude brought to mind words fellow junior choir members used to like to invert in a popular tune about falling on their face instead of their knees with regard to the rising transfiguring sun. Mercy.