Emmanuel Lutheran tonight.
The reading was Isaiah 40:21-31. It opens with Do you not know? Have you not heard?, and immediately I felt in familiar territory. Oh, Isaiah. Lots of grass imagery, and I thought of the people are grass. I mouthed along at the end -- but those who hope in the LORD [I forget if that's the phrasing they used] will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not faint. [My mom's favorite; shame she's up in Vermont this week. Though they did the spoken "We pray: / Hear us, God of light" rather than my preferred chanted "Let us pray to the - Lord have mercy"]
The reflections were first a piece on Handel (from On This Day: 265 Amazing and Inspiring Stories about Saints, Martyrs & Heroes) and then excerpt from Max Lucado's He Still Moves Stones, which actually referenced the full Isaiah 40 -- opening with "Comfort, comfort my people, says your God," and talking about God reversing things (mountains laid low and valleys raised up). Lucado talked about God as sovereign and protector. The Handel piece talked about his rise to fame and then his fall and then how Charles Jennens brought him a collection of Bible passages to set to music and I realized that would be Messiah and I actually cried. (Am big sap.)
Hugged Pastor Saling afterward per usual. He said to me, "The thought occured to me, that you might like to help lead the worship -- either here or on Sunday." My immediate thought was, "This is what regular attendance gets you" -- followed by, "It took First Churches three years to ask me to do this." He said I could do the reading or do something else, that there were lots of ways to participate, that I should think about it, that he wants to share the fun because he thoroughly enjoys it :)
And I had phoned ahead so I had actual dinner when I got home.