Long day today. Sundays are always long. I start the day early, 8:00 am worship service and the day isn't over until 10:00 pm. So it's usually a 14 to 15 hour day. Anyone who thinks that the life of a minister is easy just has never tried it.
We had a call at 7:30 am that an 80 year old member of the church had been admitted to ICU -- he died 12 hours later at 7:30 pm. P spent most of the day sitting with the family, as I covered for him at lunch and the the Bible Study at his house and then my usual Disciple classes. The associate was at the spiritual life retreat with the youth and our ministry intern is in Texas for his board of ordained ministry interview. Good worship services, good lunch and good fellowship. We also had my friend who was expecting triplets delivered the babies and all three are over 5 pounds and none had to go to NICU. In the midst of death, God blesses this world with life. We have been praying for both families -- the one who has experienced death today and the one who has experienced life abundantly. What feelings of community I have felt today.
I had to scramble for communion stewards this morning. My good friend Q, who is a retired minister and seminary professor, had a bad PSA and will be having a biopsy. He's around 80 and he is starting to feel his mortality. He is feeling rather blue and didn't feel like serving communion today. I spent time with him in between services, just being there. He is the most humble, caring, spiritual human being I know. And he probably is the most liberal theologian I know of -- in fact he's so far left, I don't even know if he is really still on the field, but also has such a deep spirituality. (For example, he thought that Altizer stated his case mildly) I told him this morning about my dilemma with my interview next week with the board of ordained ministry and he really wants to ride down with me and go to a late breakfast. He is really not the best person to introduce me -- he failed at least 3 of the members of that board (heh, might be political suicide?) but he want to show me his support. (Actually, He wasn't sure if it was 3 or 4 that he failed.) I wonder what grade he would give me, on occasion. (This is the same Q that brings me homemade tofu goodies when I have a sick child... and looks a little like Yoda, except not so green. Hmm...even speaks like Yoda sometimes, he does.) Anyway, he is going to go with me to my interview, even if he does not speak -- just for moral support. Time to lift him up in prayer, tonight. Again, such community I have felt today.
I have been contemplating today that the 4th "We believe" in the nicean creed is the "We believe in the one holy catholic and apostolic church...." The other 3 are about the Father, Son and Holy Ghost (or Creater, Redeemer and Sustainer in gender inclusive language). If the Church is indeed the body of Christ, would it not too have a human and divine nature? If so, it is not the human part of the church that causes such deep ties of unity and community that I have been feeling today. It is only with that divine spark that we build that community.
I have a 3 hour drive to get to a workshop tomorrow morning with my other favorite retired professor. He's teaching a preaching workshop. That means getting in at 5:00 am or so (hmm in about 5 hours), so off to bed I go. Good night and God bless.