There's a golden glow in our village courtyard, and slanting through the balcony doors and windows of our cozy home this first evening of 2019 for Molly and me.
Seven of us, who could, gathered at the Original Pancake House, our custom for probably three decades, for eggs, bacon, and pancakes to start off the New Year.
These have been blessed times, this Advent in church. And then, Christmas Morning. What a privilege to be asked by my successor, David, to preach. I did.
But today was a different day - bitterly cold, but with sunshine, and a blue sky. And, after our mid-morning breakfast together, it was off to the Iconic Theater in St. Louis Park's West End. Sgt. John Rouner, the only other grandfather in our family, had taken his Vivienne to see "Mary Poppins Returns." Thinking it would be good for children, he found it wonderful for grandparents as well, and commended it as a "must see film" for the afternoon half of our New Year's Day tradition.
Mama Molly came along, and there we sat, with our three daughters, entranced by the whole production.
Apparently, Mary Poppins floats in, out of the sky, held aloft by her umbrella, at times of need for unsuspecting earthbound people. And this young English family was about to lose, through foreclosure by the bank, their beautiful home in a lovely London neighborhood.
She quietly came in and took over the three children, leading them through fanciful adventures made possible by her magical umbrella.
The dancing lamplighter it turns out, was played by the author and actor in the Broadway play "Hamilton." He played a leading part in the rescue of the family's home from the dishonest scheme of the evil bank president.
A lovely piece was Meryl Streep as the upside-down fixer of everything. To the rescue came Dick Van Dyke playing the old uncle who was senior to the malevolent bank president and saved the day by revealing tuppence shares in the bank, owned by the young father, had matured into a fortune that could more than pay off the mortgage!
In the closing, climactic scene of a spring carnival in the quaint square in front of the rescued house, was the sung theme that when things go bad in life, there is "no way to go but up."
The old balloon lady, played by actress Angela Lansbury, was selling balloons that immediately lifted the buyer into the air, as everyone sang there's "no way to go but up!"
A perfect theme for the first day of the New Year 2019, as all floated into the sky, singing a song of hope. And of course, Mary Poppins left as she came - mission accomplished.
A lesson to all us people of faith, that Jesus calls us every day to look up, to watch, and see Him coming in the clouds, with great glory, to set all things right, by the will of God Who brings finally to earth His Reign of Righteousness, and Hope.
Bless you all in this New Year, given us who believe, by our great Lord of all Hopefulness.
HAPPY NEW YEAR!
Arthur A Rouner, Jr -
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ARTHUR ROUNER MINISTRIES