December 25th, 2009

lindisfarne gospels

Merry Christmas!

The day began abruptly on Christmas Eve. I was taking the opportunity to sleep in when the phone rang. One of my elderly parishioners had been rushed to the hospital the night before, and she was in intensive care. The family member who called was her brother (brother-in-law?), and he sounded pretty confused.

I got to the hospital and spent some time with Ruth's family, then had prayer with them when she got back to her room after some tests.

Then we overmedicated the dog. I had already given Sassafras her morning pills before I left, but collinsmom didn't realize that, and dosed her again. She'll be okay, but it rattled us.

Then one of our choir members called -- one of the few available for Christmas Eve -- to say she was too sick to sing.

collinsmom went out to visit somebody in another town while I rested. The balance of the day was fairly easy, at least until evening. As Christmas Eve service approach, I got restless.

Everything was set up and ready to go at the church. Last Sunday, I asked Brooke if she'd like to serve communion with me. Brooke is a 13-year-old girl who was baptized and confirmed last Easter. I normally have the members of my confirmation class each year take their turn serving at the altar with me, but somehow Brooke never got a turn. She was eager to help. So, when she arrived tonight, I loaded an even larger job on her.

She was my principal reader. She had four passages of the Bible to read out of the BIG Bible that normally sits up front, unread. So, she had to manhandle this big pulpit edition of the Scriptures. And, it was a KJV, so it was unfamiliar language to her. She did fine. And she helped me serve. Hey, I believe in startin' 'em early.

The service was pretty well attended -- about 85 persons, I'd say. We had a number of visitors (not every church in the community does Christmas Eve). Everything went well. I go pretty old-fashioned for Christmas Eve: Scripture, prayers, communion, candle-lighting.

So now, I'm relaxing at home. Tomorrow morning, I've go to get up and go back to the hospital before my sister comes to visit. I'm taking Ruth communion from tonight's table.