The laugh is on me!
The laugh is on me!

January 30, 2013

Dear Friends

Having preached on the subtle dangers of duplicity and deception at St.Cliff’s but a few weeks ago I find myself falling foul (albeit inadvertently) to this very evil myself.

With this Sunday’s sermon safely ‘in the bag’ I passed the baton on to our prayer ministry team who were eagerly waiting in the wings to cash in on the fresh opportunities for response that I had presented to my flock.
Leaving them to it I broke my own golden rule and surreptitiously switched on my trusty ‘Nokia 6216 Classic’ before the service had in fact run its course.

I immediately noticed an amusing text that was obviously doing the rounds and it was all I could do to stop myself tittering away like a schoolboy. My attempts to disguise my jollity as a ‘frog in the throat’ did not work and with my shoulders working overtime (in the manner of a former Prime Minister of this fair land) I could hold in the laughter no longer.

It would appear that my sermon had not been quite as challenging as I had hoped and the prayer ministry team found themselves kicking their heels in search of any clientele they could lay their hands on (literally).
It did not take long for my poorly suppressed guffawing to attract the attention of one of their number, Mrs Mildew, and who was on me like a shot.
Assuming (wrongly) that I was experiencing the joy of the Lord (and not the fruit of the aforementioned humorous text) she proceeded to thrust her ministry hand upon my head and to decree with much fervour, “More Lord, more!’

Feeling somewhat disinclined to come clean as to the true reason for my mirth-making (and also being sensitive to the fact that the unfortunate woman had not had a very good ‘hit rate’ of late -  it is perhaps best also that we forget her valiant attempts to pray for someone with hearing loss only to discover that they in fact wanted prayer for an earring loss) I decided that there was nothing for it but to feign laughter in a bid to pretend that her spiritual diagnosis was indeed correct.

I can only assume that her recent catalogue of ministry disappointments had built within her a steely determination to press on regardless and ten minutes later I found myself still having to fake this supposed spiritual encounter.

If it had not been for the sudden appearance of a member of my flock making their way to the ‘ministry area’ (having apparently fallen asleep during my sermon and thus having missed the call for prayer) who knows how long I would have had to maintain this unfortunate charade.
Whilst relieved to have escaped this enforced (and somewhat duplicitous) event I now find myself left with the maxim ‘practice what you preach’ running guiltily around my head and would now assuredly benefit from a member of the prayer ministry team to help ease my conscience.

But with Mrs Mildew the only hand now left manning the proverbial pumps…

A dilemma indeed!

Onward and upward

Derek