I knew it was going to be busy but . . . That has to be the label for today!
Started early and ended in the next day as funeral preparation, a funeral, a sneakily added home Communion, music practice, bishops certificate (I'm sure that should have an apostrophe) and then a tidy up of the church building for a funeral and more admin were found to be in the box marked 'today'.
A nice funeral - not sure why we went in so late but the person in front wasn't going to rush even though they could see it was drifting away from them. But we made a good fist of it and clawed five minutes back for the next persona and did it all with the star of the day taking their bow. The Gospel was preached and the dead honoured: Doesn't get much better than that really.
That said, there appears to be an increasing trend, a return to the early days when I started doing funerals, to plaster saint those who have gone; not sure I'd be comfortable saying what the person in front of me said. The day is coming when the hearts of all will be revealed and the deeds done in the darkness witless be exposed to the light, so we need to check that the things we are and do accordingly - and one of the ways of doing this is the examen; an action much like this.
There were so many joys to be found in today:
1. Lord, for the opportunity realised and taken to bring bread and wine into the day of one person, I give You thanks. To be able to stand as friend and priest is the ultimate joy for me and to minister You in word and sacrament, and proclaim your love, is a privilege and joy beyond measure.
2. For the. opportunity to minister your grace and proclaim your gift of life realised as we pay our respects to a departed loved one, my gratitude for the role and the access to things it receives knows no bounds. As I think of those who have gone before and those left behind, commending them to Your grace, love and mercy, and holding those who remain in Your love and my prayers, I offer You my hands and heart.
3. I thank You for the opportunity to correct error. Help me always to study Your word that I may neither preach, nor live, in error. Take my mind and discipline me to be true and authentically Yours. may I revel in the label 'born again' and may I never be captured by the disease of numbers and the lure of the clink of coins.
4. For the places today where my careless word or thoughtless action has wounded, I lay this and those I may have wounded before You. Create in me a clean heart and a willing mind to minister Your Grace to all. Those who have been blessed by our encounters I can but credit to You and give You thanks.
Lord, You know my needs and my very thoughts are known to You before a word leaves my lips.
You know my needs and my wants and deal with them accordingly.
You provide my daily bread and prepare a way before me that I might follow Jesus, the Christ.
Forgive me my sins as a model for the way I should forgive others, minister to me as You would have me minister to others that I might learn and be made whole in, and for, and through, You.
For You are my hope, my health, my love and my life.