Today has been another quiet day - early start checking all the Christmas services are squared away so I can confidently deliver the first batch of service sheets to one of the churches as I was there doing a service in the churchyard. That done there was time for a quick pastoral visit before heading off to the crem' for another funeral and then then in to the last day of the Holiday Film club (sausages for lunch added to an already good day) and then some more paperwork before off out to have a meeting. But by 19:00 the work day was done and I relaxed with the family (and won my first ever Mario Kart race - a real miracle indeed!).
Pastoral encounters were rich and wonderfully enabled me to reconnect with one of my lost concerns. Last calls to undertakers to make sure nothing had come through their door that needed my attention before. Christmas (nothing worse that a call next Wednesday to attract the attention and first contact I could have made today) - and all was quiet on that front (hallelujah).
Tomorrow will be a few home Communions visits and some pastoral hand-holding and then it begins as the six services and the church Christmas meal like toes. when the shoes have been removed, begin to spread themselves out a bit.
This has been a day of privilege and prayer - of thanks for all that is wonderful in the ministerial role and all that challenges and demands of us in the role too. For the insights and words of healing and help I have to thank God. For the folly and distracted bits, I alone take credit for them.
More of You and less of me tomorrow Lord - may I reach the words of life and be seen to be living them as well. May I hide from the gaze of others lest I obscure their view of you.
And for the wonderful encounter with the RC lady - Thank You for the blessing we find in others; may those who have met me be able to say that same too :-)
And thank you for the woman who has taken two jobs from my hands and like Stephen freed my hands and time to do other things. Keep sending people to us Lord, we need all the joy we can get and there's no greater joy than people who seek after you :-)
It's just gone one o'clock and all is very well with my soul.