So my fabulous assistant (and also our choirmaster) said to me today “I thought Church yesterday was really fun!” I peered out of my office and looked at him. “Really?” I said, “Cause I thought it was a train wreck.” “Well,” he replies, “the part when you COMPLETELY FORGOT THE ABSOLUTION was pretty funny. ” I blush. It’s true. Yesterday was one of those complete messes of a day. One of those days where way more goes wrong than goes right. The last page of my sermon somehow didn’t make it into the pulpit. So the sermon ended with me saying…”So…let’s renew our baptismal vows! Now! Amen!” And I literally lost my breath 4 times in the service–once in the sermon and 3 times during the Eucharist, which made me sound oh-so-unpleasantly flat. And then, there was, that absolution. Sigh. So I left the Mass, made it through the pat-the-preacher line and expected to hear about my horribleness.
But here’s the thing: they were just glad I was back. Maybe it was only small talk, to cover for the fact that my sermon ended abruptly and I clearly forgot important words and that for once I didn’t have enough hot air in me, but whatever it was, I was grateful. And glad to be home. Grace and forgiveness–when we are lucky enough to recognize them (and even when we are not)–are delightful gifts.