The day began with an 'early' Communion and ended with a Taizé Communion and, sandwiched in between them, was another Communion and an Epiphany service - and as a result the day just flew past in the blink of an eye. Looking at the clock, day aone, I realised that it had been, almost the toe minute, twelve hours from beginning to end and yet it didn't feel like it at all.
I was grabbed by a member of the parish a few weeks back and given a ticking off about how it wasn't hard work but long hours that killed us. But the problem is that each of us has a different idea of what constitutes 'long' I guess.
Today was about Christ becoming known to the world as the Magi come knocking with their gifts but unless we, the Church, are out there telling the world about Him, how will they hear or have that 'scales falling from the eyes' moment? We have a task before us indeed - and I wonder if we are doing it as well as we should?
Lord, this has been a great day; one in which I have been privileged to open the Scriptures and celebrate the risen Christ, and I thank you for it. But it has been a funny day. An unsettled day too as each of the Communion services were slightly out of kilter: the service sheets were wrong in one (Praise the Lord I had a set from elsewhere in the car), the means by which the candles could be lit were non-existent (must learn to carry a lighter), the order sheets had totally vanished in another service (rushed and printed a new set!!), a page was missing from another service (but the memory had the words on the internal paperwork), one of the people leading was missing, and ... well you get the picture I'm sure.
In former days I would have regarded the bumps in the road as 'attack' whereas now I just regard it as mere organisational tremors. But as I reflect in a most excellent day I am pondering whether these bumps might not still be attack. OK! We managed to pretty seamlessly deal with all but the candles, but these things which take my eyes off of the important and cause me to break step, who does it work for? This has made me realise how lax I have become at praying before, and for, a service and lulled me into a sense of false reliance upon others - and the more weak links we introduce, the more likely it is that something will break down.
Lord, help me find the balance between collegial and shared and abrogation. Help me to rejoice in the joy of having so many people involved in the service (we had eight different voices making our main service run yesterday - and it was brilliant) but not forget my duty to ensure that it flows well. Help me to train, equip, release and inspire those around me - and also not forget that sometimes it's the bumps that help us to climb. A shiny polished slope is destined to keep us in the shallows rather than take us to the heights!
One of the joys today was found in small numbers - for in one place with our 'special' service on offer we barely filled a quarter of the building and yet, talking to people afterwards, I realised that what we had done was immensely valuable as it made Church accessible for those who came to a place where it might not have been expected to be.
Church in unusual places - sounds like the New Testament times, doesn't it?
Lord for the needs, the pain, the confusion and the bumps - I thank You.
For the joy of working with others - I give you praise.
Give me patience, grace and love for the day ahead - be with me every step of the way, just as You were today :-)