Note: Monday Morning Quarterback is a recurring post that examines personal and pastoral events of Sunday.
4:30. Alarm. Sermon’s not done. Normally I don’t sleep on unfinished sermons, but I fell asleep at the keyboard at 1 am, so up we get.
5:12. Decide to illustrate a move in the sermon by telling of this little boy. Can’t get think my way through it without crying.
6:48. Sermon phrases piling up like a 72 car pileup in the fog. Need to eat.
7:46. Standing in the pulpit in an empty sanctuary, preaching from my laptop and editing as I go. This always takes longer than I think it will.
8:06. Weekend custodian arrives with vivid story of his latest solo camping trip out to the desert, this one complete with windstorms and threats of gunfire.
8:38. Head of Staff comes into the sanctuary. Sermon editing done. Sorta.
8:45. Sunday School guest presenters arrive early. I’m so not ready for them. Also, they’re sick.
8:55. Print Sunday School sign in sheets, visitor signs, and sermon manuscript. Leave signs in the pulpit, hang manuscript on the bulletin board.
9:28. Sunday School presenter tearing up as she relates the loss of her home to the war in Beirut in 1976.
9:31. Other Sunday School presenter urging the church to seek justice in the West Bank. “If you think it’s okay for Israel to bulldoze Palestinians’ homes, fine. If not, then you should do something about it.”
9:47. Setting up the PowerPoint slides with worship announcements. My plan to hand this off to a student hasn’t taken hold yet.
9:51. Text from acolyte: “I’ll be there at 3 minutes before 10.”
9:57. Acolyte arrives. No joke.
10:14. Time with The Children is a race between four unsuspecting worshipers recruited by youth to fold a paper fish bank.
10:27. As Head of Staff reads the first Scripture reading before the sermon, suddenly feel the dizzying weight of sleeplessness. This could be ugly.
10:37. Impromptu sermon joke: the charismatic church I attended as a kid spoke of the saved and the unsaved. The unsaved we called “Presbyterians.” That one killed.
10:48. I’m on the far side of the chancel without a worship bulletin, so I don’t know the hymn number. Cross the chancel to the acolyte, who is holding an open hymnal and singing. Notice, however, that he doesn’t know the hymn either; he’s just singing, “I like cheese.”
11:08. Worshiper relates a recent experience that relates to the sermon: he bet on a horse called “Rise to Faith” and won! “Great,” I say, “So you’ll be donating those winnings to the church then?” No I don’t. I don’t say that.
11:10. More sermon feedback: “You’re going to be hearing from people about this.” Sounds menacing.
11:48. Daughter finishes singing lesson with church’s Children’s Music Director. There’s homework involved, but Daughter’s not talking about it. Secrecy abounds . . .
12:27. Lunch is brunch. There’s champagne involved. Didn’t see that coming. I dunt nurmully drnk affer chrch on Sunday ’cause the fatigue sssets in un the alcuhl–I love you guyz!
12:48. Tweet from Adam:
Recommend “Run on The Bank” with the snide suggestion that he leave the lights on. That’s because . . . this.
1:12. Desperate for a nap. Daughter’s not having it. Instead, it’s “Let It Go” and much dancing.
2:08. Finally drifting off when phone rings. It’s a junior high student. “Hey can I come to youth group at 4:00 today?” I tell him that’s the scheduled time. “Oh,” he says. “I thought it was 3:45. Bye.” Hangs up.
4:49. Junior high outing to the trampoline place. I love this pl–ah! My back!
5:12. Hobbling around now taking pictures.
6:13. Driving back with two junior high guys. One says to the other, “Hey, when did you post that one picture on Facebook?” Other says, “A couple of months ago. In February. Or whenever New Years was.”
6:46. Youth Intern and his fiancee, another Youth Volunteer, going on a coffee run before high school youth group. May they be held in the highest esteem for the remainder of their days and ever after. Amen.
7:14. Showing off the Chromecast for the Youth Intern. Really pleased with myself for integrating technology for the formation of young peoples’ faith. This is how its supposed to work. Really, I’m the best.
7:15. Student hijacks the Chromecast with their phone to show a goat video.
7:17. Another student hijacks the Chromecast with a different YouTube video and declares, “You’re right Rocky. This this is the best!”
7:27. Soul Pancake check in prompt: how are you selfish?
7:39. Share that I’m selfish with information: I want to know things before others do. Share that I do this with my wife, who can’t ever tell me about a viral video without me acting like I’ve already seen it. Volunteer pronounces, “That’s because his wife’s the only one in their family who actually works.” Room erupts. Volunteer demands, “That better be on your blog tomorrow!”
8:01. Taking my own recommendation and playing Run on The Bank.
8:23. Youth Intern showing a highlight reel of Pope Francis. Students are kinda geeked over him.
9:13. Driving home, receive a text from a colleague about something I’m supposed to have prepared for a local conference this week. Totally unprepared. Freaking out.
9:58. Colleague texts me the material I need for the conference. Start to look at it, then fall asleee . . . .