Sunday blessing

Phoebe made it through her church Christmas program this morning.

After another bit of stagefright as I escorted her to her Sunday School classroom -- that included holding on to my leg like her life depended on it and begging me to stay -- another mother helped her with her angel costume and diverted her attention. ... I was able to slip out of sight peacefully, and the next time Kates and I caught her big brown eyes, Phoebe was dressed in a piece of white fabric with a circle of gold-colored garland attached to her head and stretching her body as far as she could to wave to us from across the sanctuary, grinning widely.

After weeks of practicing "Away in a Manger" and "Silent Night" together at home, she sang every word. We could hear her voice loud and clear. And it was wonderful.

The reminders of our children's innocence and the senseless violence in Newtown Friday were spread throughout this morning's worship. Through prayers, scriptures and the children's program.

And last night as Kates and I settled in our living room to watch "Saturday Night Live," the chills ran up and down our spines as the New York City Children’s Chorus performed the cold open. ... Well done, SNL. Well done ...

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