My week started with a short break with family in London.
It gave us a chance to do something different, even if we couldn’t fully escape emails and phone calls. It was good to see family again and to give the kids a chance to spend time with their cousins.
By Thursday, I was back in full swing. I had a funeral in the afternoon that had taken quite a bit of time to prepare. Most funerals take time to prepare, don’t get me wrong, but there are some that need a few extra hours. I was really touched by the way in which people at the church, some of whom are dealing with the loss of their own family over Christmas, helped to take the stress off the grieving family by sorting out the catering after the service. By the time that finished, I went home and did preparation for Sunday’s services.
Friday is my day off and I managed to keep it work-free for the first time in a while.
On Saturday, apart from anything else, I went to the hospital to sit with someone who was thought to be dying. She had her family with her and they were there when she slipped away a few hours later. There are no such things as easy words at times like these, but the words that can help are the reminders of God’s grace and peace.
Sunday’s main work was the leading of two covenant services. It is an annual reminder of our relationship with God and a re-statement of our willingness to do what God chooses for us, where God so chooses and with whom God chooses.
Monday started with a meeting with church stewards, to do some forward planning. This was followed by another funeral which turned put to be a wonderful send-off for a lovely chap.
The evening ended with another meeting at another church for some more planning. All in all, a busy and a sad week and one marked with a growing respect for the ability people have to find and demonstrate grace in times of adversity.