I do love Wednesday mornings. We have two mid week communion services, one at St Michael’s and one at Holy Trinity. At the first, the congregation sits in the choir stalls making it really intimate.
I’m also still glowing from last night, it was absolutely amazing. I liked making people laugh as a particularly mean Salome. Salome is the girl who danced for Herod, and as a reward, asked for the head of John the Baptist on a platter. It’s grim, really. But it was fun to swagger up the ramp in church!
Anyway, during the sermon today, Mark spoke about the calm before the storm that is the Wednesday of Holy Week. It feels very much like that today. Jesus retreats to Bethany, and a woman walks into the place where he’s eating and pours a huge vase of oil over him. Some in the gathering grumbled that the perfume could have been sold and the money given to the poor. We should have a heart for the poor, and we should commit to them emotionally, spiritually, financially. But worship has a cost too, and God deserves our best.
Now off to sort out my folder for the funeral at 1pm.
Funeral ministry can be tough but it is possibly the biggest honour that I have as an ordained person. I remember when I first read at a funeral. I was on placement in Houghton-le-spring and my heart was pounding so loudly that I thought it would actually jump out of my throat. All I did was read Psalm 23! I never thought I’d get to a place where I could do a whole funeral by myself! But of course, it’s not really me, it’s God through me.
I finally managed to have that nap I needed! Hooray! I feel so much better for that. Funerals are such a privelage, but they take a lot out of me. Leading a service for people when they are in those dark valleys is such an honour, but I always fight imposter syndrome because, praise the Lord, I’ve been blessed enough to have lived for a quarter of a century without being one of those people on the front row at a funeral. All I can do is draw on the experiences I do have, trust in God to guide me and thank him that so many of the people I love are here.
This afternoon, I also went over the song for Sunday with someone who has sung it many times, so I’m feeling better about that.
I’m starting to think about my sermon for Sunday morning. But it’s really hard to think about the resurrection when in the middle of Holy Week! It’s getting dark, the pressure is building for Jesus, and although the resurrection happened 2000 years ago, I’m trying to enter into this week fully, and at the moment we’re still in Bethany on Wednesday! But I’ll let you know how I get on with it tomorrow.
Did I mention that I counted up the number of services Nathan and I have between us this week? 32! If you count Palm Sunday too, there’s 40. Easter and Christmas are the busiest times of year, but Easter is very different to Christmas. Christmas is much more fuzzy and warm and full of good will. Easter is intense and dark, until Sunday, at least.
Off to sleep after a slightly quieter day. Tomorrow we’ll have Morning Prayer and then the stripping of the altar table in the evening.