Sunday, November 26, 2006


I attended worship this morning for the first time since September. I found it both joyful and upsetting all at once. Someone else was in "my" pulpit, and I wasn't playing my Martin 12 string in the praise group. It is incredibly odd to be in church and not be leading worship. The man they have filling in for me did a fine job, and I am grateful for his orthodoxy and biblical views. But I'm supposed to be up there, right!? Good Calvinist that I am, I know the answer is, for now, "No." Interestingly, the pulpit supply person (not yet ordained) was laid off recently, so this pulpit supply is a financial blessing to him, and perhaps God's way of pushing him into ministry.

Now about pewsitting - I don't do it well. As doctors make the worst patients, pastors make the worst parishioners. My mind wandered a lot. I looked at my watch often. I fidgeted. I was relieved when it was over. I did like the casual, blended worship, with a simplified liturgy. I did, however, wish we sounded more like Michael W. Smith. I even found myself saying to the music director that I might try and play with the group again at Wednesday night practice. Am I insane? I, who won't eat a bagel from the store is going to get up close to potentially sick people? Not!

The bottom line is confronting the fact that things can go forward without you. One of the greatest of all ministers, Robert M. M'Cheyne, went on a short missionary journey, only to find out that a revival had broken out in his church during his absence. This happened to a man who could make men weep merely by ascending the pulpit. So who am I to complain? What matters is that I felt at home in the house of God, and missed my vocation. Here endeth the lesson.


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