It has been quite some time since I last sat down at the keyboard to muse, so here are a few ramblings to get y'all caught up...
Nothing says Post Easter Blah's quite like a hard disk crash. I know, I know, it couldn't happen to a nicer guy, right? Well I found out the reverse is also true. Nothing says resurrection quite like an external casing for an internal hard drive. Thank you God (via Paul), for the heads up.
Senior banquet lessons: How do you get 3 high school guys' attention when they haven't been active since confirmation? Get their head football coach to speak at senior banquet and have the meal served by the cute cheerleader who they've been pining over for the last several years (not sure which was more effective).
Lessons learned on the AT&T Center Ice: Pucks rule! Rampage were undefeated in games Alex and I attended this year. Think maybe the team might buy us season tickets next year? Just sayin'... The 3 Stooges are timeless especially when it comes to the level of humor of a 14 year old!
Seems my congregation did just fine without me last week. My wife gave my fill-in this review, "He was great. Had a great message. Can't tell you a thing he said or what it was about but it was really good. Short, too." Yep, the congregation didn't miss a beat. Maybe I'll go find me another sheet of ice to sleep on this weekend.
"Doubting Thomas" played a roll in last week's gospel lesson. I've always had a bit of an affinity for Thomas. Although I took a "Which disciple are you?" quiz on Facebook and came out as Philip, Thomas has always been my man. I believe his fault to be not his doubt (a little healthy skepticism never hurts) but that he chose to keep his doubts to himself and isolate himself from the gathered community, both of which I have a propensity to do. When brought back into the community his doubts were allayed and he made the bold confession,"My Lord, and my God." 'Atta' boy, Thomas. 'Atta boy.
Lessons from the College of Pastoral Leaders: I don't play nearly enough. Too much work makes this curmudgeon even more curmudgeonly. Not a pretty sight. Man, I miss being around theater people. They know how to put it out there and they are the most real, authentic, and fun group of folks I've ever been around. My congregation definitely needs a few more theater people as members to lighten the mood and remind them that we are here to enjoy and delight in the many and varied gifts of God, not to hoard, scrimp, and wait around for Jesus until we die. Too many of them died long ago. They just haven't stopped breathing yet. Do they even hear the good news of resurrection and life? Or does it seem to them much as it seemed to those first disciples, "an idle tale"? I really don't know. Kind of feeling like Sisyphus today, rolling the boulder of the gospel up the hill only to be flattened by it and have to start over again. Definitely need to start a mission among a theater troupe.... Just keep it short, brother. Just keep it short.
Finally just a few quick random thoughts on this weeks text: Peter rounds up the boys and takes them fishing. When all else fails and falls flat we fall back on he tried and true, the familiar. But then this stranger appears on the shore, whose form they can barely make out by the dawns early light, and they take trade advice from him. Very strange. And then when Peter realizes who the stranger is, he puts his clothes back on (apparently he was "skinny fishing") and then he jumps into the water and swims to shore. Hey, Peter, don't you usually work with your clothes on, and then take them off when you go for a dip? Very strange. Then there's the whole threefold restoration business. I've got two young people being confirmed this week (one who is my son, Alex) and an invading hoard of relatives from up North (DFW area). Not sure how this all fits together, but I'll come up with something. They won't remember it 5 minutes after I'm done preaching anyway, so maybe I should just give out some sage advice on safe swimming and throw in a recipe or two for broiled fish and it'll all be good. As long as its short, baby. As long as it is short.
I'm the unlikely pastor. Welcome to my world.