“The gifts he gave were that some would be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ.” (Ephesians 4:11-12)
I will begin this Thursday Thoughts with an apology, I am sorry that I gave everyone a scare on Sunday! As you probably know by now, I almost fainted at the end of the Easter Sunrise Service at Lake Hayward. The medical term was that I had a near-syncope. An episode like this has never happened to me before, so Neill (with assistance from Nicole) convinced me to go to the ER to get checked out right away. I am happy to report that all tests came back normal, though it’s unclear what caused this to happen. I have a follow-up appointment with my primary care doctor next week to see what’s what.
Let’s just say that not going to the 9 AM Easter Service entailed some negotiations. Neill and I jokingly call Easter “my Super Bowl” as we love a good sports reference in our household. Some of the events from Sunday are fuzzy, but I recall calmly stating to him, “You are asking me to miss my Super Bowl” on the drive to Marlborough. Even in the hospital, as I was hooked up to monitors with an IV in my arm, I asked the nurse if I would be able to return to church for the 9 AM service. She asked if I was talking about 9 AM today. I said yes. Her response was, “You will not be out of here in time, and you need to rest.” That was that. I realized I was going to miss the big game as Neill was sitting beside me texting updates to Kim and Nicole.
If there’s any sort of lesson I’m coming to terms with from this medical emergency, it’s that I am not irreplaceable. What I mean by that is that I am always trying to empower all of you for the work of ministry, not be the one “in charge” who has to do it all. In Paul’s words, I have spent the entirety of my ministry trying to help equip the saints for the ministry of the church. You are the saints of the church! Because I know that I am just one person and I can’t do it all, yes, even as your Pastor.
Now this was a rather dramatic testing of this life lesson/leadership philosophy (one I am not planning on repeating). Though what happened on Easter shows what an amazing congregation we have. I missed part of “my Super Bowl”, down and out with an injury, basically carried off the field. (Thank you, Neill and Kurt for that. Yikes). And this turned into “next one up” in a positive way as others stepped forward to lead in my absence. That speaks volumes about the wonderful saints of our congregation, and I am so grateful and proud to be your Pastor.
(Also, I am away on Sunday to help lead the Discipleship Closing Retreat at Camp Wightman. All is well, and please don’t worry.)
Thursday Thoughts 4/21/22