In our last episode, we explored the distressing side of vacationing in the Missouri Synod. Now for the other side of the coin.
What a joy to walk into a sanctuary in another town and immediately feel at home. While no two places are alike - here are the signs of faith, there are the signposts of a place set aside for the worship of God.
What a relief to feel at home to worship in words already known by heart, rather than befuddled at trying to flip through the bulletin of a service never seen before (or read the same off a screen up front).
In such a place, the local customs of the parish are easily absorbed by the visitor. At one place they sit to read the Introit, at another they stand to chant it. At home the pastor intones the Greater Gloria, here the people sing the whole thing together. Since the words are so well known, since the flow of the service is so natural, these local customs are felt as just that. They are not perplexing or bothersome, they make this place this place as opposed to that. And yet it is clear that both are of a piece, the warp and woof of the same cloth are visible even if the pattern of design shows shades of variation.
So many thanks to our kind hosts on this last scheduled Sunday off of the year. We were away, but we were home.