Sunday, May 28, 2006

Thoughts Before a Sunday Service

I'm 2 1/2 hours away from worship. I haven't showered yet, haven't even dressed. That's a perk of living next door to where you work.

In my continued attempt to preach with as little reference to notes as possible, I did my final 'dress rehearsal' at around 7:30 this morning. It's a good sermon, if I may say so myself. It ties together my experiences at Eden last week, the choosing of Matthias to be a witness, it references ever-so-briefly Memorial Day, it acknowledges the week that this church has had, and it ends with a story that the congregation is more likely to remember than anything else I'll say. I don't know it well enough to stand outside the pulpit the entire time, and yet I look down at my notes and yell at myself: 'I know all this! Why am I having such a hard time with it?!'

So what about this week? Can we stop with the innuendo already? Fine. This church suddenly lost someone in a fall down a flight of stairs last Saturday night. She was relatively young (61), and a very friendly, vibrant, visible member of our community. I came home to this last Sunday evening and have been dealing with it internally and externally ever since.

The Da Vinci Code has been very helpful because I've been able to use it as a whipping boy...all the hype over what is really a mediocre film at best, all the gasping at the Big Threat that it provides to probably someone, somewhere, we think. I can at least scream and yell about that as a diversion.

Oh yeah, Memorial Day is tomorrow. We'll gather at the cemetery for the briefest of services where some veterans will shoot some guns and I'll say something about how we honor soldiers' lives and how much it sucks that we need soldiers to begin with. It'll be a little more eloquent than that, hopefully.

And then it's another week. I'll move toward another Sunday and another sermon. But then it'll be Pentecost, a time to celebrate renewal and excitement and movement and being moved. Come Holy Spirit, come.

That'll be my prayer for today. I'm feeling better already.