3 Surprises

Readings: Psalm 21; Isaiah 24:1-16a; 1 Thessalonians 4:1-12

Today happens to be my husband Carl’s and my 42nd wedding anniversary. We were married in 1977 at Christ Church Episcopal in Hyde Park, part of Boston –   the parish Carl grew up in.

We were unofficially engaged in August 1977 ~ no proposal, ring, or actual date other than in approximately 2 years. In early October, we attended a family wedding on Long Island. The wedding was beautiful, but what I remember most was Ave Maria; the bride’s brother, Richie, had an amazing voice, and it was a gift of  surprising beauty for the couple. I was wishing this song for my future wedding.

[Schubert, Ave Maria,  composed in 1825 D. 839, Op. 52, no. 6; from Christmas Discs, Acme Gifts, 2005.]

In late October Carl and I learned that we were going to have a baby in late May, 1978. It was a beautiful day as we took a lovely walk  through a park in Sharon to talk about our plans. The amazing surprise gift of new life felt so comfortable and so exciting at the same time. So, we decided on a December 10th wedding. It was a perfect New England December day of 25 degrees, deep blue sky, bright sunshine, and snow on the ground. The church was full of family and friends. Expecting to hear Edelweiss as I walked down the aisle, suddenly I hear a voice from the sanctuary singing Ave Maria – our Long Island family’s gift of song. I was overwhelmed with  joy for this unexpected and wonderful surprise gift.

The third surprise gift arrived on May 22, 1978 ~ a healthy baby boy. A miracle of Life. The  gift of birth, a gift  from God.

Offered by Robin Nielson, Altar Guild coordinator, wife, mother, walking home to Bethlehem.

[Rowhouses, 2018-2019, Colin Fredrickson, artist]

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Johnna

I am a Christian educator and writer.I have worked in churches, denominational offices, and seminaries. I have a PhD in Theology from Princeton Theological Seminary, with a focus on Practical Theology and educating in faith. In 2010, my book, "How the Other Half Lives: the challenges facing clergy spouses and partners," was published by Pilgrim Press. I believe that words can build doorways that lead to encounters with God through the Spirit.

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