This past Sunday, as we were preparing for a congregational meeting (and thus doing handouts), and I was printing off a sermon manuscript, and Kathy was prepping children’s stuff, and we’re also copying drafts for the Longest Night and Christmas Eve, Jael just shut down.
Jael is the name I’ve given the copier in the office wing. She does the work of the Lord unexpectedly, and sometimes, she makes me want a tent peg through the head.
At approximately 11 a.m., as the prelude brought us into a sense of worship, Jael shut herself down. And nothing could wake her. Sending print requests (I sent a Word doc that said “WHO DARES DISTURB MY SLUMBER”) did not work. Trying a memory dump (thanks Google for the tip!) did not work. The classic tactic of unplugging and replugging did not work. So we improvised as best we could to record offerings, get an order of worship for Jazz Vespers, and all that. We prepped David, our excellent office admin, to call in a service request Monday morning.
Then, he arrived at the office, plugged in the copier, and Jael came back to us. Printed off everything—the WHO DARES DISTURB MY SLUMBER, the jazz vespers bulletin proof, some other stuff. Maybe she just needed a break; maybe she just needed to unplug for a bit.
I’m sure there’s a lesson in there somewhere, about a copier taking a Sabbath rest on the Sabbath, and coming back faster, recharged and ready to go. I’m sure there’s something about being overwhelmed by the holidays—parties, meals, presents, cards, events, family, church. Take time to breathe, take time to anticipate and celebrate, take time to be—just, be—in the midst of all of this.
This week, we have three opportunities for worship—The Longest Night (for grief, worry and other apparently “non-holiday” feelings that are totally all right to have) on Wednesday at 7 p.m. Christmas Eve is Saturday at 7:00 p.m. And Christmas Day, we are doing church (without Sunday School!) at 11. I look forward to seeing you soon.
Shalom y’all, and if you’re out traveling or out of town—Merry Christmas!,