For you, friends, a story….
There once was a new pastor, who survived her first Holy Week. It had been a lovely week, but a busy one with many long days and nights and not much sleep, and so, so, so many worship bulletins prep’ed. Alas, on Tuesday after Holy Week, she could not bring herself to do ONE MORE bulletin. So she put it off. And off. And off. The church secretary didn’t mind because, she too was totally unwilling to deal with ANOTHER church bulletin. So, on Thursday and Friday they threw something together and claimed to have proof read it, and printed and folded and sorted and printed the bulletins.
Skip forward to Sunday, during worship, where all is going well and there are even a few visitors, and new pastor lady is trying to impress them and so she gears up to dramatically read the day’s text and she starts reading from the bulletin insert, because obviously she forgot to print out the BIG copy she usually uses. She starts: “Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene …” WHAT THE CRAP!? (she thinks to herself and somehow manages not to scream out loud) What she actually says, into the mic, is “well that’s not right. It’s supposed to be evening now.” She shuffles through her bulletin looking for a different insert. Then, hoping against hope, wishing it to be only her mistake, she cautiously asks, “Is that what your copy says?”
“Yes.” They ALL reply.
All the bulletins were printed with the wrong text.
Slightly panicking, but channeling the most experienced, calm, cool collected pastors she’s ever known, well, (at least telling herself that) Newbie Pastor now starts looking for a freaking bible. In the sanctuary. AND CAN’T FIND ONE. She runs down to the pews, and starts digging through the racks. ALL HYMNALS. Where are the bibles?? Not in the pews. THERE ARE NO BIBLES IN THE PEWS. And for some reason, she doesn’t think to use the huge old church bible on the communion table RIGHT NEXT TO HER, or the OTHER HUGE ONE on the lectern just to the side of the communion table. They both have today’s reading in them. Right there. IN the sanctuary. Nooooo, instead she says to the faithful gathered, “I got it. Be right back.” And she runs out of the sanctuary to the adjacent bible study room where she knows there is a stack of normal sized, tiny-font NRSV bibles. She comes bounding back in, passing behind the lectern, and into that mic says, “Come on, Donna [the thus yet not passed out, but patient and flexible, oh-so friendly liturgist], you let me down! You were supposed to do a little liturgical dance to distract them while I got this….”
Newbie Pastor sprints back to her pulpit, slightly out of breath, majorly purple-faced, and reads the day’s lesson.
Then picks up her sermon manuscript and makes a big, stinkin’ deal of flipping through it, and says, “just checking to make sure this isn’t last week’s, too.”
Welcome to the sit-com that it my life in ministry!