Belliacre, in addition to being relentlessly boring and uncomfortably perfect (with the exception of Mr. Skink’s trailer) is also small. It only took me a few minutes to get to St. Mark’s. There were a couple cars in the parking lot, probably just some old people doing whatever it is old people do in church. I didn’t pay them much attention. Instead, I pushed open the front door, and came into the narthex. Some people call it the lobby or “that area outside the sanctuary,” but Pastor Basil says the proper name is the narthex even though it sounds like some sort of sinus condition.
To my right was the sanctuary, the big room where church happened on Sunday mornings. It was decorated with blue banners and a blue cloth around the altar since we were in the season of Advent, the few weeks right before Christmas. The color for Advent is blue. My brother says this is because baby Jesus is a boy, but I’m pretty sure there’s more to it than that.
A small group of people were inside, seated in the pews, these long wooden benches that are the opposite of comfortable. Pastor Basil was standing in front of the altar, talking to everyone. I could see Jealous Plant perched on the railing that stretched around the altar, clearly involved in whatever was going on.
Cautiously, I slipped into the sanctuary, hoping not to interrupt whatever meeting was going on. Pastor Basil probably wouldn’t mind if I offered to take Jealous Plant off of her hands for a little bit anyway. As I walked down the aisle toward the altar where everyone was gathered, I could see that Pastor Basil had a bunch of papers in her hands and was handing them out to the other people. No one seemed particularly happy to be getting these papers.
As I got closer, Pastor Basil looked up, saw me, and smiled. BOOM! The doors burst open behind me and I turned to see Samuel Skink storming into the sanctuary, eyepatch askew, the tarantula I’d nearly squashed clinging to his shoulder and glaring at me with all eight of its beady little eyes. At the exact same moment both Pastor Basil and Mr. Skink pointed right at me and shouted “YOU!” To be continued
Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say:
“Now have come the salvation and the power
and the kingdom of our God,
and the authority of his Messiah.
For the accuser of our brothers and sisters,
who accuses them before our God day and night,
has been hurled down.
Part of how the devil operates is by getting under our skin to the point where we need to justify ourselves, that is, prove our worthiness. And nothing makes us want to justify ourselves more than a good round of accusation. What might Mr. Skink be accusing the narrator of doing? What about Pastor Basil? What can we do when we find ourselves being asked to prove our worth, even as God already declares us worthy of love?
A reading of chapter 5 by Amelia Corbett
About the Blog
Journey through the season of Advent with daily updates on the adventures of St. Mark's Lutheran Church in Belliacre, MI as they attempt to cobble together a Christmas Pageant with an unlikely cast of characters.
Stephanie is an art educator and a landscape/portrait artist. Her inspirations come from the amazing people she meets and the gorgeous state of Michigan as well as her home state of Florida. She and he husband love nature. They are out in the water during the summer months and on the snow in the winter enjoying the simple pleasures of life.
A church of the
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
Like us on Facebook.
Christ the King Lutheran Church
600 S. M 18
Gladwin, Mi. 48624
Pastor Emily Olsen