OK, so it’s late November...
Last Sunday before Advent tomorrow.
Things revving up gently around me and , as regular readers will have correctly assumed, I’m only now beginning to acknowledge the imminent marathon. I picked up a couple of books of ideas for creative worship for Advent yesterday, which shows promise, I hope you’ll agree ... Maybe that sparked this off. Who knows?
It was 3.30 on a Sunday afternoon, and Longsuffering Husband was, for some reason, about to drive me to HopefulAmphibian’s church, where I’d been invited (don’t ask me why) to lead a Christingle service. Now, for any in blissful ignorance, all I’ll say is that Christingle is likely to attract scores of families who have no other contact with church. It involves children,oranges and candles so has a big "Ahhhh" factor, but there is always the challenge of presenting things so that just one or two of them entertain for a moment the possibility of a reality behind the flickering flames and “Away in a Manger”. Being me, I’d left it till the last moment to put my thoughts together, so was feverishly scouring the house for the essential ingredients for my talk …but we nevertheless seemed to feel we were leaving in time for a service due to begin at 4.00.
As we drove along, we chatted peacefully.
We reached the church, only to find it locked and dark.
Then the moment of appalled realisation.
We had come to St Mark’s Church in Cheltenham, somewhere quite different from Mark’s church, twenty minutes down the road.
It was 4.00 now.
I had let them all down.
Worse, we only had my husband’s mobile, so no helpful contact numbers…and I knew, anyway, that Mark was going to be at home with flu .
My stomach churned, and I broke out in a cold sweat as I realised that I was, in fact, the most irresponsible and incompetent curate in the whole of the Church of England.
Then, to my huge relief, I woke up…still in a state bordering terror...but gradually realising that it WASN’T TRUE. It HADN'T happened. I was safe after all!
However, it did make me wonder whether perhaps my habitual procrastination is causing me unsuspected angst. Maybe, when I’ve done the reading for tomorrow’s CME, I’ll have a think about our Christingle Service. It’s still 2 weeks away, but you never know.
Oh, and Mark, - if you ever, in years to come, consider inviting me to do anything…I should think again! Hope you recover quickly, anyway.