Saturday night's worship service will be a real doozie! I am sorry that I will not be there.
Mike will give the message, Barbara will lead the service, Laura will offer communion, and Ellen will play the piano. All of these people are "ringers" - substitutes for the regular folks who will all be unavailable. I am going to the Missouri Annual Conference session in Columbia, but I would really love to be a fly on the wall to see Saturday's service unfold.
Mike and Barbara are members of my remarkable congregation, but Laura is a pastor friend from Living Water Christian Church and Ellen is a friend of a friend of a friend (literally) who is wonderful enough to step in and play the piano for the service. What a celebration of the body of Christ! It makes me smile to think about these four people meeting each other for the first time for the purpose of leading a worship experience together. Literally, Laura and Ellen will be meeting everyone there for the very first time, including each other, and yet somehow within the mystery of worship, they will all be united as members of the one body. Boy, do I ever wish I could be there to see that. It is going to be magical.
Problem is, if I was there, there would be no need for Mike, Barbara, Laura, or Ellen to be there either cause I would do it all.
Hmmm ... wait a minute ... what's that? ... I am sensing God trying to teach me something here.
You mean .... hold on, let's see if I'm getting this ... you mean I could actually (gasp) STEP ASIDE and let other people do stuff?!?! But that's just crazy talk! I am the pastor! I am Pastor-Man! Faster than a speeding phylactery, more powerful than a complete set of the New Interpreter's Bible, able to leap tall capital campaigns in a single bound. There's no need to fear, Pastor-Man is here!
Well, Pastor-Man is learning, sisters and brothers. I am learning that stepping aside not only allows other people to shine, stepping aside also allows the Body of Christ to flourish. So, this Saturday I will step aside. Mike, Laura, Barbara, and Ellen have things well in hand. In fact, I am sure the service will be a real doozie. (I really wish I could be there to see it; maybe someone will tape it for me!)