This week was all planned out tying up (some) loose ends before we fly back to England on March 28th. Because it is Holy Week we aimed to share in worship services along the way culminating in a glorious Easter Day. However, last Sunday, at First Baptist Church Wheaton (where I was interim preacher 2000-2002) we learned that the pastor's sister had just suffered a cerebral hemorrhage which meant he needed to fly to be with her. As Carol was talking with him and his wife she said they seemed so anguished she felt moved to offer me as a substitute preacher should he not be able to return in time! She says she knows my heart so well that she was sure I wouldn't mind! I dare not pause too long to analyze just what this means for our relationship!
Yesterday he called me and asked me to stand in for him. I am utterly surprised! Suddenly from sitting in the pews in the same church these last two Sundays I have been catapulted to lead the people on the best Sunday of the year. Surprise and great privilege. I grieve over the reason but now(so completely out of the blue) am entering the preaching preparation process. Of course, I only have myself to blame. If I keep banging on about the importance of preaching and have even launched a facebook community page.....I should be prepared to step up, especially on Resurrection Day.