Brrr . . .

Sunday 18 December 2016 REVIVIE US AGAIN Brrr . . . it’s cold out there.

And warm in here.

The week has been a whoosh.

The roads I traveled varied from dry, to slushy to icy. One morning I was delighted to hear and feel the squeaky crunch of tires on our icy, rutted, and snow-packed street. It brought back memories of winters during college in Winnipeg where secondary streets remained ice and snow covered till spring. You learned to drive–and slide–accordingly.

Yesterday we had a memorial worship service at church for Ross Ringenberg, age 33. Ross was an elder, Sunday school teacher, and promoter of the stewardship of creation, At the age of 8, physical challenges first surfaced. In recent years  Ross got around on a joystick-directed power wheelchair. He could not feed himself. Physical limitations did not deter Ross from enjoying life in many fascinating, influential, fun-loving, ministering, pushing-the-edges ways.

Ross died December 6 at Western General ICU Edinburgh, Scotland. He was travelling with friends in Scotland when he became ill. Despite increasing physical disability Ross loved opportunities for adventure, learning and meeting people, his parents said.

Photos from the meal for more than 160 people and sharing of memories of Ross

I was worship leader this morning and in the welcome added this brief word: “I stand here in stocking feet in memory of Ross Ringenberg. I believe his smile and shout of holy mirth would have supported my departure from normal decorum. Ross, who needed no shoes or sandals in recent years would tell us, ‘Fill your own shoes and walk in the way of peace.’ I stand here in red stocking feet as on holy ground in an unlikely stable honoring the new-born king, who lived among us for 33 years and reigns over all eternity. Immanuel!”

We sang our hearts out in the memorial  worship service and in today’s Advent 4 service.

Pastor Nelson in today’s sermon, “Immanuel: God with us in hard times,” used an example of a miracle happening in the besieged city of Aleppo, Syria. Muslims are going to the Christian area of the city to find safety. God is present with us in the most difficult of circumstances. We carry the Christ light for each other. A baby born in the crossfire is called Immanuel, God is with us.

May the deep meaning of Christmas be manifest to you in starry nights, angelic choir of children, hymns of adoration, festive gatherings, gifts of love and gratitude, health and well-being, peace, and happy anticipation of your journey in the New Year.

Part of the crèche on our mantel.
Part of the crèche on our mantel.


A shivering, refreshing glance out-of-doors

If you were here, here’s some of what we’d have

Blessings, John




2 thoughts on “Brrr . . .

  1. Thanks, John, for the photos from the memorial service for Ross — so good to see that many people joined to support and comfort one another and remember Ross. Thanks too for risking such unconventional worship leading in honor of Ross. May all of you know God’s peace and healing.


  2. Thanks for the inspiratioon, John.

    On Sun, Dec 18, 2016 at 6:50 PM, It’s About Now wrote:

    > John Bender posted: “Sunday 18 December 2016 REVIVIE US AGAIN Brrr . . . > it’s cold out there. And warm in here. The week has been a whoosh. The > roads I traveled varied from dry, to slushy to icy. One morning I was > delighted to hear and feel the squeaky crunch of tire” >

    Liked by 1 person

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