I’d never heard of Dallas and Brad Woodhouse until listening to Mike & Mike on ESPN Radio this morning, when Greeny and Golic referenced a story about a caller to C-SPAN’s Washington Journal. After hearing the brief audio clip containing, “Oh God, It’s Mom…,” I HAD to do some investigating to find out more. Googling it, I found many wire mentions, including the one embedded below, which captures the moment pretty well.

Well, it turns out the Woodhouse brothers are complete polar opposites who have made a living for themselves on their respective sides of the political spectrum. (Admittedly, as one who considers himself a political junkie, I’m a bit embarrassed to admit I’d never heard of them until this morning.) They’re in a project right now to talk about bipartisanship, and were promoting their ideas as part of the C-SPAN program. It wasn’t a setup (as you can tell by watching the video) when “Joy” from Raleigh called to talk about things. When the voice came on the line, the boys’ non-verbals were priceless…along with Dallas’ words that are the title of this article.

I’m sure moms across the country cringe at times about how their issue get along (or don’t) and the stress that may come when holidays dictate the relatives all gather, but I doubt many of us who at times have issues getting along with our siblings (yes, I am using inclusive language here as I fall into that camp – not that I’m proud of it) have ever been called out by mom on national television. When Mrs. Woodhouse said she was glad this year they were scheduled to go to their in-laws instead of her house, I just roared with laughter – then started thinking about how this might work in a post or a sermon. In her comments, Mrs. Woodhouse says that she hopes they boys have all this foolishness out of their system by the time they get to her house.

A week from tonight, many of us will gather in church facilities across the world to celebrate Christmas Eve Candlelight services, which serve as a family reunion of sorts. I wonder what kind of foolishness we need to get out of our system as we gather in our parent’s home (the house of God) that evening so that we can truly embrace the meaning of the season and celebrate being together.

Mom may not be calling into C-SPAN to bust our chops on national television, but I do believe that the God who will bring us together next week for worship in anticipation of the savior does, indeed, hope that we can get rid of “all this foolishness” so that we can have a glorious evening of worship and celebration.

What does that look like? For each of us, I am sure, it will be different. As for me, I took time tonight to write a long handwritten note to a church member I know that I hurt over two years ago, admitting fault and seeking reconciliation. I don’t know how the note will be received, but I know in this circumstance, the “foolishness” of not reaching out was something that I did not need to bring to the table as we gather for Christmas Eve Candlelight and Communion. Over the next week, I will be intentionally seeking to rid myself of at least one bit of “foolishness” so that when I gather with you and the church eternal I can gather with you with as clear a conscience as possible.

Thanks, Mrs. Woodhouse. Thanks, Dallas and Brad. Oh God, sometimes we need mom to bust our chops to remind us of what is important, and to leave the “foolishness” aside. Thanks to God through Christ by the power of the Spirit, we don’t have to leave the “foolishness” by our own strength as we are helped by the God who created, redeemed, and sustains us.

Lamar C. Oliver