You might know it as something else like Low Sunday, I thought it was 2nd Sunday of Easter, but it turned out to be Surprise Sunday.
This morning I walked into the church and thought, ut oh not very warm in here, a sense of dismay filled me. I reached for the light switches and that flick that usually causes light to shine failed to happen. Well the flick happened but the gradual, low energy bulb, glow didn’t. By now doom was looming I could hear the complaints growing and as yet I was the only one aware that there was a problem. I headed for the fuse box and discovered that the fuses had indeed tripped so flick, flick, flick and there was light and the light was good, I breathed a sigh of relief ad the doom was chased away. Wondering if it was the dodgy light that was the source of the problem I headed for the boiler to make sure it had now kicked into gear as without electricity to the timer I was guessing it would be doing nothing, and indeed that is exactly what it was doing. As I stretched to press the boost button however I saw that there was still no electricity to the timer, a dark screen rather than a bank of numbers started back at me. A quick glance around told me that the fuse had blown on the main switch, well now I knew why everything else had blown, but was there a fuse to replace it. I wont bore you with all that happened next, suffice to say that after putting in a fuse the fault was discovered to be in the boiler itself and so with the early service fast approaching all attempts to sort the heating out had to be abandoned.
The early morning congregation are a hardy bunch and a slight chill wasn’t going to put them off, but I knew the main service would be a different matter. So the decision was taken to decamp to the hall.
Had I known what was going to happen I could have planned something for the occasion as it was I chose to deliver my sermon from different points rather standing in one place, having previously decided I could manage without a lectern. Had we been in church I would have doubtless delivered it all from the pulpit (I can’t say that for certain as I don’t always do that) and it would have probably be just fine. Today’s sermon was a story interspersed with exegesis so, I told the story and then paused and moved elsewhere to do a bit of exegesis before moving again and rejoining the story it worked well, and it wasn’t just I who thought so. It wasn’t just the sermon though, there was a different feeling to the whole service but one thing in particular struck me.
Today I had decided to drift from the lectionary and have the readings for the Road to Emmaus, I can’t remember why back at the end of February I made that decision. However, this morning we were surprised, surprised that we would not be encountering Jesus through the familiar door this week, we would be meeting Him somewhere else. We had journeyed and discovered He had journeyed with us. The Easter message is more that a simple He is not here, He is risen. It is more like:- He is Risen and is everywhere, ready to surprise and encourage regardless of where we ourselves may end up.
I would recommend that you all try a Surprise Sunday once in a while and that Easter is a surprisingly good time to do so.