Jim was asked to preach this Sunday. After years of declining when asked, he has preached three times in the last year and a half. He preached when there was the crisis of our losing our previous pastor. He preached for our pastor Chris Rea's installation because he was her advisor at Notre Dame. This time, Chris had said to him with a big smile that she was eager to see what he would do with the passage--Ezra 9 and 10.
The problem passage was about the sin of being married to heathen women and Jim didn't avoid the issue. He chose the New Testament passage from Corinthians about being married to unbelievers. His focus was on being holy--and he brought the idea to the political campaign and Facebook posting--not spreading lies and nastiness. He did well with his usual humor and self-deprecating remarks. Along with a great children's sermon and my friend Maggie Noll's wonderful prayer, it was a very good service.
After church, Lisa Oglesbee asked us to go to the VanderGriend's place near Vandalia for the afternoon. Jim had a golf date but I was happy to accept her invitation. What a serendipitous adventure it was! Ron and Lou have built what they call a Gnome Home into a cliff--one cozy and lovely room with everything one would need including hot water, heated floor, and a running toilet! The 23 acres they own include part of Lime Lake. I enjoyed a quiet pontoon ride around the lake with Ron narrating about the area. The Oglesbees and one other couple canoed peacefully while the kids ran around with walkie-talkies. And we all ate and chatted. Lisa posted on Facebook with a hashtag "church family." I seconded it but don't know how to do hashtags!
It was enough activity for the day. I decided our tickets to a ND event that evening would be considered a donation and we would stay home.
Jim was watching football when a phone call from "Van Engen" came up on the screen. My friend Sue was warning me not to watch the presidential debate. I had no intention of doing so but she said that Donald Trump was presenting three women who had accused Bill Clinton of assault--just moments before the debate. He subsequently had them seated in the front row. What a show! It was his way of taking attention away from the 2005 video in which he spoke in vulgar terms about taking advantage of women himself. The ugliness of this whole situation is enough to make one weep. During the debate (if one can call it that), Trump said that if he were president, Hilary Clinton would be in jail. Isn't that what dictators do--put your opponents in prison?
So a good Sunday of worship in church and praise for God's creation ended in regret and sadness. My prayer while lighting a candle at the Notre Dame Grotto on Saturday was for civility during the debate--and for an amicable solution to this campaign--one to which each family member who is a life-long Republican can find a way to support the ticket without "holding his nose" as one of them put it. The answer to that prayer is pending! My prayer this morning was just "God help us."