Sunday, November 09, 2008

Grace Happens

Nothing ever turns out quite like you expect it to. I expected a smooth morning, even though we didn't have the bulletins ready and I needed one final sermon edit. Ben even took over my Sunday School class this morning so that I could have a little more time to format the bulletin and print it off and copy it.

Silly me, I should have realized that this morning drifted closer to the edge of chaos than I had hoped. But somehow, in the midst of it all, grace happened and everything was OK.

First, I didn't get my computer up and ready for the sermon until halfway through the Prayer of Confession. Ben started the service, and I'm sitting on the floor in my robe (thankfully hidden by the choir), praying that my machine doesn't lock up and that everything loaded properly and there were no extraneous programs open. As I'm doing this, I'm highlighting a second copy of my sermon so that Ben knows when to change slides when I'm speaking.

Next comes...hearing the phone ring. Actually, it rang several times during the service (only one was a relevant call pertaining to the baptism). I'm thinking, "shoot! Why today of all days do we have to leave the doors to the sanctuary open???" Admittedly, I made this decision as a way of being hospitable to late-comers. It certainly wasn't the smartest choice to make today.

We also had to do a little shuffling of the service. I do my best when I'm preaching to preach towards the Table, since Communion immediately follows the sermon. So what do you do when the baptism gets moved unexpectedly in between the two? Go with the flow as best as you can. :-) In the end, it worked out very well and we ended up with, according to many denominations, is the "proper" form of celebrating the Eucharist immediately after baptism. Actually, the United Methodist Hymnal actually suggests moving to Communion afterwards as well.

But the baptism itself went well, and the child I baptized looked so adorable in his white tux - and he didn't even fuss at all when I scooped water on his forehead. He took it all in, observing the congregation as I walked him up and down the aisle, showing him his new aunts and uncles and brothers and sisters and grandmothers and grandfathers in Christ.

Other things were slightly off kilter as well -- like somehow between last week and this week our last Communion rice cake (for non-gluten eaters)...and then once we sent someone to the store to get one, we forget to put it out. So I have to ask the first person in line during Communion to go back and get the rice cake....

And yet...grace happens.

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