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Sunday, March 18, 2012

Memories of "A House is A House for Me"

My children were partial to a book written by Mary Ann Hoberman.  It is called, “A House is a House for Me.”  In a lyrical, sing-songy ryhthm, we discover that within everything, there lies a home.  Her words exactly?
A hill is a house for an ant, an ant,A hive is a house for a bee,A hole is a house for a mole or a mouse,And a house is a house for me.
A web is a house for a spiderA bird builds its nest in a treeThere is nothing so snug as a bug in a rug,And a house is a house for me.  
 copywrighted material
With a foundation securely built on such a premise, my children could go forth into the world, secure in their knowledge that, wherever they would go, they would have a home.
This book came to mind this morning while I was sitting in Bruegger’s Bagel (whole wheat, toasted, light butter) watching the early rising faithful enter a church. A House of Worship.  I was positively horrified at the decline in propriety that appears to have taken place since I last regularly attended services...back in 1998.  Apparently, it is perfectly acceptable to enter the House of God wearing pyjamas, sweatpants, cutoff jeans, tee shirts, sweat shirts, sneakers, slippers, tutus and backpacks.  I was born in an era when wearing gloves and nylons (pantihose did not yet exist) were the costume de rigueur.  I fully understand that the norms have changed, and that the standards have relaxed, but the 
respect, where is the respect when one comes to church in what one slept in?  This is not to say that God loves us better when we are dressed in our “Sunday Best.”  It is, however, true, that we come to church to celebrate and praise the presence of God in our lives.  Would we go to a birthday party in such slovenly garb?  How hard would it be to pull on a pair of chinos and a pair of loafers?
Then, in came Mary Ann Hoberman’s book.
A house is a house for me.  These people were coming to worship God in what, ostensibly, is known as His House. “Let it go, Dawn,” I said to myself.  I heard a murmur in my ear...

A prayer is a home for hope,
A heart is a house for love,
A church is a house for God, for God,
Who blesses us from above.  

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