By its very nature my job means I spout a lot of words into the atmosphere. It can be vaguely disconcerting because you are never quite sure if people are hearing what you are saying (or for that matter if what you sayign is worth being heard!).
Yesterday morning for example things seemed to be going quite well then I noticed that M (who notoriously absents herself from mental engagement with sermon and/or worship) had sort of connected...but about 5 minutes in became quite animated. She was obviously watching what was going on behind me!
Then H was looking in the same direction.
I felt a degree of anger well up within and wanted to turn round and see what could possibly be more fascinating than me! I resisted the temptation and the desire to publicly chide them.
The stupid candle, which hadn't been changed because for the third month in a row the rostered sacristan hadn't done her job, had gone up in a blaze of glory. Obviously far more more interesting than the proclamation of the Gospel!
It is easy to be judgmental. I have absented myself from too many homilies in the past to be judgmental about those who couldn't give a stuff about what I am saying.
Any way. God, who is rich in mercy, allowed me to have two simple gifts the next time round.
There were a number of young kids in the later service...it's always difficult to compete. But they were good and indeed..delightful.
It was great when asking a rhetorical question "After all we people of faith know that Jesus is alive, don't we?" To have a little 3 year old voice say "Yes!" without looking up from her drawing and without any casuistry, total conviction!
Then after the service, checking that the oldies were OK, I asked K who's having a rought trot at the moment (and who's had a helluva life...but she would never see it that way) how it was going.
And she beamed, in way that I had worried she had forgotten how and said "OOOh you know Easter, Don't be alarmed!"
She was quoting back some of Mark's account of the resurrection about which I preached on Easter day (here). It is worth it if one person listens!