It was Transfiguration Sunday, did I mention that? Today was the last Sunday before Lent. Wednesday is Ash Wednesday.
Since we had a big bash last Sunday as part of our transition process, "Remembering the past,", it was a little low key for the last Sunday before Lent. We had the choir at the first service, and sang "We are Marching In the Light of God" at the end of the contemporary service. Also, we had a baptism at 10:00, which is always a little like a mountain top experience for me. Really, I love baptisms.
The choir sang at 8:45; they had a wonderful arrangement of "Lord of All Hopefulness." I was presding, not preaching. The interim senior pastor had preached this morning on "Mountain Top Experiences", and how worship is sometimes like a mountaintop experience for us, but that we need to come down from the mountaintop.
When I began the preface, I thought that it was odd that he sat down. Usually we remain standing for the preface. In the middle of chanting the preface for Transfiguration Sunday, I heard an awful gasp. The senior pastor was slumped in his chair. I paused and then went on, as a retired doctor and a couple of people from the choir came to help him. I saw him sit back up again. They took him out the back in a wheel chair.
Before the second service, I checked as the ambulance driver did tests. I saw the baptismal party in the Heritage Room getting ready. I kept thinking, "I have everything but a sermon." Our traditional service ends at 9:45. Our contemporary service starts at 10:00. No time to think, or, not much time anyway.
The baby cried during the baptism; her uncle poured the water in the font. Several children stopped to say hello to their new sister in Christ, as they were on their way to Sunday School.
We sang "Shine, Jesus Shine."
And then I preached. I said something. I said something about the Mountaintop experiences, and getting this deep connection and not wanting to go home. I said something about the transfiguration of Jesus, and how some people think that it's really a resurrection story in the wrong place, but I think it's in the right place, a glimpse of glory on the way of the cross. I don't think I was so eloquent, and I don't remember everything I said. I remember something about connecting the words "This is my beloved son" with Jesus' baptism, and our baptism, too. And I'm pretty sure that I ended with the words that He promises to be with us always, to the end of the age.
I will say that I noticed a first grade usher jumping up and down to "Marching in the Light of God" at the end of the service. Also though the crowd seemed a little light after the big bash last week, I noticed there were several babies today.
After the service, we took some baptismal pictures, and then I had a meeting with a grandma and grandson who are interested in baptism. (He's 11.) I showed a short video of baptism that I really like and then they asked questions they had about baptism. It really was a video, not a DVD, and I had a little trouble remember how to hook that old contraption up. But it was a great conversation. They asked really good questions: why we don't do immersion, what is the baptism in the Holy Spirit, things like that. I felt privileged to be a part of this conversation.
Then I took the other pastor's jacket and coat to the hospital. He is doing all right, but will be staying overnight, just to be on the safe side.
And for some reason, now I am very very very tired.
And a little numb.
And oh, I totally forgot to remind people that next Sunday begins Daylight Saving Time.