It was an incredibly busy, yet rewarding, weekend. Allow me to reflect 1.
First, the week of insane allergy attacks put me a day behind in productivity. I normally write my sermon Thursday morning, then go do some other pastoral tasks like visitation and general information processing. Friday mornings I edit my first draft and prepare my visuals. Last week was different. I worked on my sermon notes early Thursday morning, as per usual, but when I glanced down at my screen what I saw made my brain melt. There were words there, and they were in English 2, but what I was typing made absolutely no sense. At least, I didn’t recall thinking, “Sinus flakes steel tree river. 3” About the same moment my brain was melting I got a call from the school. My daughter was similarly suffering from allergies and the nurse wanted to know if I could pick her up. At that point I gave up on being productive. I picked up my daughter, came home, and went to sleep.
This meant I was writing my sermon on Friday, and would need to work on my visuals on Saturday. This is normally not a big deal, except my in-laws were coming to town. I adore my in-laws 4, but the pressure of having other people in the house contracted the time-frames I felt I had to finish my sermon. Couple that with an early afternoon allergy attack and things got really dicey.
Sunday morning was a baptismal service, and one of the candidates happened to be my son. So I spent the pre-worship time working out the logistics in addition to my normal routine of setting up the projection system 5. Adding a quick change in the middle of the service is another added adventure 6, and added some fun stress. By the we got home, I was wiped. After lunch I spent three hours going through the insane number of pictures my neighbors had taken of worship 7.
So I was busy. But why was the weekend rewarding?
Well, my in-laws were in town. That’s always a pleasure even if I have to beat my introversion back with a a stick. They are good folks and I enjoy their company.
Second, I decided to rent a movie my friend Antoine had brought to my attention. Armor of Light is a documentary about a Christian pro-life lobbyist who finds himself making the issue of guns and gun ownership a central theological issue for his organization. His path comes alongside a pro-choice Christian whose son was murdered in an infamous “Stand your ground” case in Florida. It’s a difficult film to watch on many levels, but I’m glad I did. It is refreshing to encounter a Christian with whom I have profound differences in political opinion 8, and yet have an equally profound agreement theologically. We both believe faith must have action in the world, and those actions have to spring from the twin callings to love God and neighbor. On many paths we might disagree about what action is required to those this love 9. On the theological issue of guns and gun ownership, I find we might be walking in close step with one another. This is a man I’d love to sit down with over a cup of coffee, I suspect the conversation would be invigorating.
I have now watched the movie twice-through, and believe it’s something Central Baptist needs to watch as a group. Armor of Light was probably on of the most personally enriching things I did over the course of the weekend. It handles difficult material, and does so beautifully.
That was not the greatest thing I did this weekend, however. As I mentioned above, on Sunday my son was baptized. It was special for me to celebrate that step with him and, even though he’s hit “uncommunicative teen-mode,” I’ve caught snippets from others which reveal how meaningful the step was for him. To have friends and family celebrate this ritual with us made it extra-special. It was a great day, and I am a proud papa.
And now the weekly cycle begins again, and tree pollen is supposed to be worse than last week. I think I’ll seal all the windows and come out in June.
- Why am I asking permission? It’s my blog. I’ll reflect if I want to. ↩
- That is to say, my fingers were on the home keys. ↩
- No, I didn’t really type that. It’s not that far off, though. ↩
- So stop thinking snarky thoughts. ↩
- And, of course the projector would pick that morning to inexplicably alter it’s settings. Suddenly, the image was misaligned, and the bottom of the picture was being cut off. It took me about ten minutes to figure out what went wonky – “auto sync” was messing things up. ↩
- I sing with the worship team and literally ran to the mic just as the first verse of a song was beginning. I almost decided to go barefoot, which would have been fun. ↩
- Thanks Mike and Lillian (and Briana, so my camera could join in as well). The pictures were awesome. Shutter Hubbies for the win. ↩
- Rev. Rob Schenck self-identifies as a Conservative in the film. Early in piece he points out, more and more, his natural constituency is Tea-Party Republicans. I have no time for the Tea-Party, and it was partly their rise to prominence which led me to dump the label “evangelical” altogether. I’d dropped “conservative” years before that. ↩
- But he also seems to listen to those with whom he has disagreement, because he knows he could be wrong. That’s the type of humility I celebrate. ↩