July 17, 2013

Gone; not forgotten (an unused sermon fragment)

t e g r o F

Have you ever been in a worship service where someone forgot to do something
 That you felt was pretty important?
I was at a service a number of years ago
 Where the priest just got all absentminded and forgot to give the blessing.

We walked out into the sunlight feeling somehow only partially complete.
We had come to depend on that, and it hadn’t happened.
Some couldn’t say why it didn’t feel complete
 Because they couldn’t remember what exactly had been skipped over.
They just knew something was missing.
They felt it at a place deeper than they could articulate -- way down.
Had we in fact been at a proper service?
I hobbled to my car, got in it, started it up, and just sat there, aware of this big hole.

We had heard the Word of God spoken and interpreted for us;
 Confessed our sins and heard words of absolution and comfort;
 Greeted one another with holy words of peace, hugged and even cried;
 Given up our treasure for the work of the saints;
 Gathered around a table ... remembered Jesus ... had shared in his very life;
 Had prayed to return to the world in peace, equipped for service.

Without an ounce of malice, the blessing had simply been forgotten.
It was an honest human error in the midst of divine service.
In fact, we had done SO much and God had truly been praised;
 We were transformed and strengthened
   And blessed in a way that mere words could not communicate
   And we were more deeply connected to one another through Christ.

Had I not just been in church? Of course I had!

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