An awkward interruption

One of the great things about being a pastor is that you never lack for new experiences. I’ll close out the first month of January with one I had today that was partly humorous, partly embarrassing, and a little sad.

It began as a traditional visit to a member in a local nursing home who was recovering from some surgery and receiving an assortment of therapies. After some introductory conversation about this and that, it was time for the sacrament. Bread and wine were put in place, scripture read, and it was time for the words of institution.

As I am almost exactly halfway through the words, a medical assistant steps into the room and interrupts with a rather personal question for the patient. We didn’t quite hear it the first time, so she repeated it using very descriptive words, got her answer, and disappeared.

While all this is happening, I’m thinking, “Is this happening? Doesn’t she what we’re doing? Do I need start over? How embarrassing is this?” I simply picked up where I left off and Christ’s words transformed a not-so-holy situation into holy ground just like they always do. Afterwards I was reminded that Christ didn’t mind being in a world or among people who didn’t recognize him, respect him, or understand what he was all about. And he still doesn’t mind. His grace still works in humorous, embarrassing, sad, painful, and sinful situations. That’s probably why some call it “amazing.”

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