Monday, August 31, 2009

Finding Jesus by the Weekend

Although we weren't solid, church-going boys, the Vlaming brothers both occasionally attended Sunday school at the Colonial Church of Edina.  Not that we went willingly.  On Sunday mornings we'd rise early, not to ready ourselves for the House of the Lord but, rather, to catch the 8:30 AM rerruns of TOM & JERRY cartoons -- the old ones, you know.  The one's that won Academy Awards.  Even as kids, we had to wonder why on earth they didn't show these great old 'toons on Saturday morning when other cartoons were running.  But Sunday is where they landed and we would rise bright and early, ready to watch.  Trouble was, Sunday also was the sabbath and while our parents weren't regular church-goers by any stretch, every once in a while they got it in their heads to get us dressed up in our little suit jackets and clip-on ties and go to church. 

Not that we weren't total heathens. The Vlaming family attended church often enough to come away with a fair amount of Sunday school teachings imprinted on our brains.  The 23rd Psalm, the Burning Bush, Noah's Ark and other fanatastical tales in the Good Book.  One thing my young mind couldn't get a grasp on was the third part of the Holy Trinity.  The Holy Ghost?  I knew who Jesus was, God was a gimme -- paintings of the two were plentiful enough but when trying to imagine the Holy Ghost all I could envision was Charlie Brown's costume in his Halloween special.  The other thing that befuddled me was the fact no ever seemed to refer to Joseph as Jesus' dad.  I had a bountful imagination but as a kid the word 'virgin' meant nothing to me, and therefore "virgin birth" was equally hard to grasp.  As a result I always thought of God as Jesus' sorta-grandpa.  A silver-haired, bearded guardian angel (who, considering how the story turned out, wasn't much of a guardian).  

I later learned I had it all wrong. 

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