Sunday mornings will invariably find our family at church. However, over the last fortnight getting anywhere at all has been a real problem. Last Sunday morning we attempted to go to First Dunboe Presbyterian Church (the place that Mrs Hideous and I got married sometime back in the last millennium). Our progress was hampered by the state of the road pictured opposite - the sheet ice on the gentle rise in the photo was slippery enough to reduce the wheels to spinning pointlessly on its shiny surface. We didn't manage to push the car out of its slippery rut by ourselves either - it was very hard to stand up in the road, never mind get enough grip to move the car. Eventually (with the help of my father-in-law) we got the car moving, and arrived having missed some of the service.
Back home this week I went down to de-ice the car in order to drive to Perth Baptist Church. The problem we have faced round our way this week has been that many of the adjacent roads have been completely impassable, so competition for parking spaces in our road has been quite intense - the result of which was that we were totally parked in. We have another car - but this one has been immovable with a frozen handbrake even since we got back from Ireland! So this week we had to concede defeat and head back inside to put the kettle on, tidy the house and light the fire.
We may have had to concede defeat - but all was not lost. For one morning we revived the Victorian tradition of 'family worship'. We read some verses from The Bible together which had been the boys memory verses at a holiday club they had been to during the year, and all discussed what it meant. We read from Ephesians 2 :4 "But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved." We talked about God's mercy (when He witholds the punishment we deserve), and God's grace (when He gives us blessings we don't deserve). We talked about why God does this ("because of His great love for us"), and how he does this, ("makes us alive in Christ"). After that we spent a few minutes praying - with the kids all suggesting things that we should pray about and me doing the words! The usual Sunday School formula of "Sorry-prayers"; "thank-you prayers" and "asking" prayers, seems to grab their attention - and they had lots of good ideas under each heading.
I have no doubt that next Sunday we will all be back with our friends at church and Sunday School - which will be good. Nevertheless I'm grateful for an unusual, and special morning, and don't resent getting snowed in, iced-up and parked in, one little bit.