...but I decided to go to vespers anyway! (okay, sorry about the melodramatic post title)
Everything seemed to be working against me! I had spent the whole day trying to fix my computer because the sound wasn't working so my friend James from church showed up and fixed it. (Apparently if you have cords stuck in the wrong sockets, the sound won't work...who knew?) So James left and I tried to fix my Audacity program so that it could record one of the several podcasts I produce and....THE SOUND WENT OUT AGAIN!. Well, my wife, always the better Christian, said, pray for help. We did and I tried again but to no avail. In such cases, it's always better to step away so I went to my room to take a nap. Well, my son Justin fixed it in two minutes. (Apparently, if plugs aren't all the way plugged in the sound won't work... who knew?)
Usually, when things like that happen, I get in such a bad mood that I don't want to go to any church, Protestant or Orthodox. But, thank God, I jettisoned the feelings and decided to go anyway.
Plus, it really was a dark and stormy night and my son Matthew was at work. My wife didn't want to travel on a night like this and that meant I would pick Matthew up after Vespers which meant he would have to wait over an hour for me. So there was the whole guilt thing keeping me away from Vespers. But thank God, I jettisoned the false guilt and decided to go anyway.
And when I arrived- and this would make my 40th time at an Orthodox Service - it was great to be in Worship. The Choir director wasn't there so the small group of about 5 singers which included Fr Ken was led by a lady whose name I ashamed to say, I have forgotten. She is a very nice lady and the few discussions we have had reveal she is very welcoming and genuine. I think I will not really get to know these people until I start attending every week and on Sundays. The coffee hour after Divine Liturgy will be a great place to build friendships.
I seem to have been a bit obsessed with clothing at times. That is, I notice what people wear. (Isn't that completely shallow of me?). On my first visits, it seemed to me that everyone dressed up nicely but today I noticed that some were in jeans, not many had ties and one of the choir singers was wearing sweat pants and a white tee shirt that said, "Guard" on it. I am guessing this girl is a lifeguard somewhere and came right from work. The important thing is to remember, for me anyway, that such things really don't matter. It is the heart of Worship that matters. I have to remember that I am there to glorify the Triune God.
I love that, even when the crowd is small, the Worship is still paramount. In evangelical circles, when church crowds are small, the leader sometimes references that and says, "Even though we are small in number, let's really worship the Lord.", as if the small crowd needed to be revved up. In Orthodoxy, we just Worship because that is what we are here to do.
Fr Gary gave a good homily about the weather, saying we pray for seasonable weather all the time and, no matter what the weather is, God is with us. Short and to the point, that is what I like about Fr. Gary's sermons.
I left rather quickly after Vespers because my son was waiting to be picked up.
I am looking forward to my next visit.