Pastoral Reflections, The Third Week of Advent, Our 39th Week in Official Pandemic Status - December 18, 2020
It’s wet and cold out there, and I’m really glad to be inside and warm. And you know, one of the things I really miss is riding upstairs on the inter-island ferry, circling the islands when the wind blows the water into whitecaps and the rain beats on the window. It’s just not the same being down in your car on the deck with your feet and hands slowly turning to ice.
So I went upstairs this past Wednesday when I rode around to Lopez and back for the mail. I wore my mask and chose a place far from others, as the rules dictate these days. Not that there were very many people up there. It was a quiet journey. I exchanged muted greetings with the crew as they went about their duties. It was nice to be enveloped in the ferry’s warm cabin.
I looked around and saw that the crew put up their Christmas tree this year. It rides in the very front on End No. 1, reflecting a ghostly twin in the glass of the windows when it gets dark outside. This year's tree is socially distanced. There are chairs facing outward, entirely circling the tree. And caution tape liberally festooned about. It’s a strange sight, but still, for all that, it’s a happy one.
O Tannenbaum, O Tannenbaum. O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree, how lovely are thy branches. The evergreen tree cannot help but give glory to the sustaining love of God, in every season.
The Rev. Beth Purdum Eden is an ordained minister in the Evangelical Lutheran Church. She has served in more than 6 parishes in the Western United States for 30 years.