January 8, 2021

I went through a stage when I was about 8 years old of watching TV while eating dinner on a TV tray. I’d run in from playing outside with my friends just in time to watch the Paul Shannon Show, which always included episodes of the Three Stooges or The Little Rascals. I didn’t think I would survive if I missed an episode! According to family lore, I’d rush in the door, tear off my jacket, call to my mom, “I’m eating in the living room,” set up a TV tray, and settle in on the sofa. It was a short-lived stage, thanks to my father, who “put his foot down” and in no uncertain terms made it perfectly clear that the entire family would eat together at the dining room table. The family lore includes weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth on my part when that happened. (I realize that owning up to this could be used against me as proof that I was spoiled as a child. Please don’t tell my sister, Carol!)

It wasn’t until I married Rod that the practice was re-instituted. I am not sure whose idea it was, but that first winter as a married couple, almost every week night we watched Star Trek on TV trays in our living room.  That ended around the time I melted the electronic guts of the TV while thoughtfully trying to replace a burnt out fuse. That’s a story for another day.

We will still occasionally eat dinner in the family room while watching a football game. It is a  rare occurrence and we no longer own TV trays. But as events unfolded Wednesday afternoon at the Capital Building in DC, we decided that we didn’t want to miss history unfolding before our very eyes. In the midst of it I flashed back to those old Star Trek episodes, where the worst of acting met the weirdest of scripts. “To go where no man (sic) has gone before,” came to mind as events unfolded.

Perhaps the worst image was of a flag with Jesus name being held high by a rioter in support of violence. One of the earliest hymns of the church, included by Paul in Philippians 2:10-11, goes this way, “At the name of Jesus every knee should bend, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”

This just might be the time for us some knee bending. ~ Anne

These meditations are provided as a ministry of St. Paul’s United Church of Christ

in this time of pandemic.

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