Today was one of those days that started out GREAT and then went on to just keep getting better. Well, in every way but one, but we’ll get to that in a minute.
When I first wrote this post, I listed all the ways that various people exceeded all expectations (and as I said, my expectations for the day were pretty darn high to begin with). But as the list grew it started to feel like bragging, and I tend to think bragging is always in bad taste. So I think I'll I just simply say how proud I am of the people at St. Matt's, leave it at that, and trust they know my heart towards them.
I would, however, still like to say a few words about the Bishop’s visit. In my 26 years as a priest, this was the first time that a Bishop hung around with folks after the service for more than two hours, as if she had nothing else to do and nowhere else she’d rather be. Except for the worker bees (those indispensable people who excel at helping exactly where help is needed, usually with little or no public recognition, and some of whom are pictured above), she was the last one to leave. When you love someone as much I love the people of St. Matthews, you want nothing more than for other people to see them like you do. In the way she simply sat and spent time with people, listening more than she talked, I got the sense she was doing just that. I do not think there is any single thing she could have done that would’ve blessed me (or them) more than that.
What didn’t go so well? My sermon! This was one of those weeks where there just weren't enough hours in the day, so I never got to work on polishing my delivery as I'd hoped. I mean, now that we are taping sermons and posting them on line for EVERYBODY to see, the last thing I want to do is mess up... which, as you've probably guessed by now, is exactly what I did. I think that what I can honestly say is that even after almost 30 years, preaching still has its challenges, and that those challenges keep it... interesting!
If you want to see for yourself, here it is...