Dear friends, I am still here. As one of you suggested, Lent simply swallowed me whole.
I overbooked myself. (That is the kindest characterization of the outcome of a rather serious character flaw, vanity. More on that another day. Today is the day on which I am forgiven that, and all the others.)
It was Lent, see, and so we had a Lenten Series (a rather awesome one involving depictions of Jesus in film including "Life of Brian" and "Jesus of Montreal).
And the local university extension program asked whether I might teach a class on Women of the Hebrew Scriptures-- which, since I did it just two years ago, was part 2, and so-- no repeats. All new women! And it was wonderful and so very time consuming-- I found myself delving into the Hebrew and loving, loving, loving it. And being stressed out of my mind over it.
And the local Christian counseling center (which is affiliated with my church) offered me an opportunity to create a grief group with one of their MSW interns. So, we did that. Tomorrow is the 6th of seven sessions. Verdict: intense, wonderful, something I'd love to do again.
But perhaps not in Lent!
And then, there was the Confirmation Class, which owing to everyone's scheduling nightmares, is just getting off the ground next weekend. So yay for that, it will be wonderful.
And then, there were the regular responsibilities of Sunday mornings. Preaching. Presiding. And the regular responsibilities of every day-- administration. Newsletter articles. Home communions. Pastoral visits, emergency and otherwise.
Yesterday there were two funerals.
I ended up re-hashing or simply re-purposing sermons for three of the Sundays in Lent, as well as for today. Sermons preached at other churches, mind you, no repeats for my people. And all good sermons, sermons of which I am proud. But... it feels a little like cheating.
Still, it is my understanding that John Wesley considered a sermon legitimate only after it had been preached about 20 times. And he considered it exceedingly poor stewardship to preach a sermon only once. (No doubt John Calvin considered reusing sermons the final nail in the coffin proving total depravity.) She tells herself.
I walked out my door on Friday morning and breathed in that God's Friday air, and you know what? That day really is different than all other days. This morning I awakened before the alarm went off, and was able to listen to the different voices of the bird chorus as they joined in. Beautiful, holy.
A blessed Easter to you, friends. I have risen from the tomb of my own foolish belief that I can do it all two times over. And it is not of my doing; it is the Lord's work. It is marvelous in my eyes.