Monday, November 21, 2011

Christ the King, Baptism and an Advent Fair All Before Noon

Happy Monday!  It's officially my day off, only today I'm breaking my own rule: I'm working on my day off.  I know, I know: not always the best choice.  Here's the thing though, I have Vestry (our church governing board) and two days off at the end of the I'll spend today writing some sermons and a Rector's report.

A RECTOR'S REPORT!  YIPPEE!  I never imagined I'd be a Rector, and, even when I did, I never imagined I'd love it this much.  The last few weeks have been FULL.  We had our Stewardship Campaign, Annual Meeting and a Baptism.  My days are full of bulletin editing, pastoral calls and hoping that I'll not make too many whoopsies (stolen from Bishop Knudsen).  And I love every minute.  Never in my life have I embraced such a challenge.  And somehow, I find myself boldly stepping forward into each new day, wondering what might happen.  I'm not sure how to say all this in a Rector's report (they usually include an attendance report and ministry updates).  Maybe I don't need to.  Maybe it's enough to show up at Vestry, give thanks for everyone sitting around the table and pass out my one page.

I don't have a sermon to post from yesterday (I have posted the last two).  We had a Baptism yesterday...and it was wonderful (have I mentioned I love ministry at Trinity Church)!

There are few, if any, words to describe the privilege of offering thanks for the water of Baptism, receiving a small child into your arms, and bathing them  in the name of Christ.  There is great mystery and power in our sacraments.  And this was never more true for me than yesterday.  The water was warm and clear.  The mother handed me the child with trust and grace.  And as I held the child, poured water on his head and anointed him with oil, the presence of God was palpable: The Risen Christ was there.

After the Baptism, I gathered the children (all girls by the way!) at the front.  Together, we began to imagine Christ as King.  The children reminded all of us that Christ is a King who takes care of us.  Certainly, I felt Christ's love as I lifted the baby up and presented him to the Church: he is a child of God and, no matter what, Christ will care for him.

After Church, many of us gathered in the Parish Hall for coffee hour.  There were a few remnants of our Advent Fair on the tables: felt Advent Wreaths, clothespin creches and Advent calendar garland.  As I drove home, I realized that I'm not ready for Advent.  I suppose few of us are.  It's a reminder to take a moment, somewhere between Thanksgiving and Black Friday, to begin to get ready.  Maybe it's as simple as placing four candles on the table, while giving thanks for Christ's ministry among us.

All of this happened before noon.

I spent the rest of the day trying to be mom and wife: Girl Scouts, grocery store, crafts, chores, dinner and bedtime.  Trying is the operative word there.  If I feel inadequate to be a Rector, I feel even more inadequate as a parent and wife.  I find I move from moment to moment with an intense emotional struggle trying to discipline and love my children all at the same time.  It's exhausting.  And, of course, the Sunday before Thanksgiving the grocery store was packed (what was I thinking!).  By 8pm, my husband and I found ourselves laying on the couch letting our minds and bodies rest.  And that night, as I fell asleep, I gave thanks for all of it: Christ who cares for us, Baptisms and Advent Fairs, wild children and tired husbands.
All in all, it was a good day: one more day of life in the faith lane...Thanks be to God! 

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