December 24th, 2006


The Oxen, by Thomas Hardy

Christmas Eve, and twelve of the clock,
"Now they are all on their knees,"
An elder said as we sat in a flock
By the embers in hearthside ease.

We pictured the meek mild creatrues where
They dwelt in their strawy pen,
Nor did it occur to one of us there
To doubt they were kneeling then.

So fair a fancy few would weave
In these years! Yet, I feel,
If someone said on Christmas Eve,
"Come; see the oxen kneel

"In the lonely barton by yonder coomb
Our childhood used to know,"
I should go with him in the gloom,
Hoping it might be so.

xmas cats

Two down, one to go

Well, the youth Christmas Eve service went well. I was way stressed, because they were typical adolescents: everything came together at the last moment. In the end, all I had to do was play organ and piano (thank God). I put Guido* up on the organ console with me and God gave me a calm spirit. I played pretty well. So: Christ was honored; the youth were enabled; I didn't embarrass myself. That's three for three for that service.

Morning worship with the big Christmas Eve sermon, Check. Youth service, Check. Now, all we've got is Methodist high mass tonight at 11:00 p.m. Soli Deo Gloria!

*Guido (named after Guido of Arezzo, of course) is my little stuffed monkey. He chitters when you squeeze him. I place him on the organ unobtrusively whenever I accompany a service, because every organ grinder needs a monkey.