Sunday, March 05, 2006

After church

Sundays are usually not happy days for me. Whatever good feelings I carry away from Sunday morning worship evaporate on the way to the parking lot.

This morning it was an argument with my daughter that burst the bubble. My facts were right and hers were wrong, but my sarcasm and exasperation were as wrong as her assertion that I didn't know anything.

Stepping away from the world of hymns and prayers into "What's for lunch?' and "Can I have my allowance?' is so hard. Even harder than getting everyone out the door to go to church in the first place. All that takes is determination. Going home again--clearly I'm no authority on how to make that work.

What were Sunday afternoons like in the Luther household? In Bach's? Capable wives saw to it that lunch was ready when the men returned from their morning's duties. (And I should mention their names: Katie Luther, Maria Barbara and then Anna Magdalena Bach.) Did they ever resent being jerked back into their practical lives, while theological or musical discourse continued around the table among the men? I can't say that I remember my mother enjoying the preparation of Sunday dinner, and then the waiting for the organist husband to get home to eat it.

There's a Transfiguration hymn that ends "And since you bid us leave the mount, Come with us to the plain."

That would be plain in the geographic sense, a contrast with the mountain-top experience. But it's plain on the plain (despite the rain in Spain--never mind). And there are children there--all of whom want something different out of Sunday than mom does.

Eleven hours after leaving church, that same daughter is still arguing with me! It has been going on all day long, and I continue to have little or no patience.

Opportunity for Lenten spiritual practice here? Acts of love toward my offspring? I'm looking for acts of love from offspring tossed in my direction. I have to admit, though, that loving forbearance on my part toward them would probably be an act of love toward myself. I wouldn't end up feeling so cranky down there on the plain.

Still, it's easier said than done.

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