Today was the first sermon in a series for Lent about close encounters with Christ. Today's Scripture was the temptation from Matthew. Three years ago I did it as a traditional sermon, and then did dialogues with various biblical characters for the rest of Lent. This year I decided to do it as a dialogue, too. So, as I was beginning my traditional sermon, suddenly the PowerPoint changed to black, rolling clouds and this deep, echoing voice interrupted. We had one microphone set on echo, which was a pretty awesome effect. Every time Satan spoke, black clouds appeared.
The man doing Satan did a wonderful job. It was fun, and the congregation ate it up. Even Daughter commented that she liked it. This morning it hit me that it was probably a little risky bringing Satan into worship, but I certainly didn't hear any complaints, and did hear lots of compliments. We've been talking about the plans for these dialogues for months, but I don't think they truly grasped what I was talking about until today. Many didn't understand that these would take the place of the sermon. In fact, the man who is becoming Nicodemus next week asked if it would be the sermon again next week. I assured him it would.
Yesterday afternoon I started losing my voice, and this morning woke up with a head full of gunk. I drank hot tea through worship to try to cut the junk coating my vocal cords. Many expressed concern and offered suggestions following the worship service. I suspect that the stress of the past week contributed to this. I'm definitely going to aim for a slower pace this week. We have a baby being born this week (scheduled c-section), but I'm going to have to let them know that I won't be coming to visit as long as I have the crud. They have enough to deal with right now, they don't need me breathing on them.
Tomorrow morning 3 men are going to invade my home to replace my two toilets. They were discussing plans this morning. The two they are removing will be donated to a local charity. I look forward to having a toilet that I only have to flush once, and that hopefully Daughter won't be able to clog. I'm feeling very blessed to be in a community that is so caring and so willing to lend a helping hand. Now I think it's time for a Sunday afternoon nap....