Saturday, December 20, 2014

Life as a Clergy Wife (Christmas Edition): You Don't Hear What I Hear

Yes, I was eavesdropping, how could I not? If I've said it once, I've said it gazillion times, "Inside voice, please."* But to be fair, certain types of the Clergy Voice will forever trump the Inside Voice.

And so it came to pass that I heard my husband's conversation with the puppeteer-ventriloquist the Vestry had booked for the Christmas Eve show worship service. He thinks this might possibly be an annual thing at the church where he has been serving as interim Interim.**

I was in the kitchen making an East Indian curried cabbage dish, so sauteing was going on. Still, through the sound of mustard seeds a-popping, I could hear him say, "Jesus loves you, no matter what."

While I could easily come up with several reasons to say this to a puppeteer-ventriloquist whose gigs include churches, why was he?
"She wanted to know what message I'd be delivering on Christmas Eve."
"Jesus loves matter what?"
Turns out I hadn't heard the lead-in, his framework for delivering on Christmas Eve, this core Christian message about Jesus' abiding love, mercy, and grace.
"Santa is the only one who cares if you're naughty or nice, but Jesus loves you no matter what." 
I treasured all these words and pondered them in my heart, wondering out loud if this might mean that Santa, not Jesus, was Jewish. Also, why would the puppet be a goose? Given the Anglican tradition of tucking into roasted goose for Christmas, wasn't that just a wee bit weird and possibly traumatizing for the little ones?
"You don't have to go."
I'm thinking I should probably thank Santa for that.

Christmas Hamper by Robert Braithwaite Martineau

*Around here, "inside voice" refers to being inside our home, not inside a church whose sound system is at best iffy.
** interim Interim is not a typo.