Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Worship Bloopers

Darin recently printed some bulletin bloopers on his blog, and that got me to thinking about some of the funny things I've experienced in worship services. While it's generally a good idea to have a well-planned, orderly method to corporate worship, it can get a little boring, even predictable at times, and in that our hearts lose any opportunity for spontaneous joy. I think that's why God, in his sovereignty, allows goofy things to happen!

About 2 months ago, right at the beginning of the service, sitting near a window in the sanctuary, a red wasp whizzed by my head. From that point on, I knew I and others around me would be less interested in heart-to-heart time with God, and more concerned and distracted about the location of that wasp. So, I decided to quickly and quietly do something about it. When he landed on the window sill, I crept over to where he sat, removed my shoe and proceeded to quietly smush it - for a minimum of 3 minutes. Either my strength or the sole of the shoe wasn't enough to crush it. Instead, every time I thought, "OK, it's got to be dead by now," and lifted the shoe, the tenacious creature wriggled and squirmed still more. What was supposed to be an oblivious, covert solution to the problem drew the attention and giggles of that entire quarter of the sanctuary! But I'm happy to report that although I missed the entire choir special, the wasp will not threaten another soul!

Another favorite memory occurred when I was in high school. I was part of a traveling choral group, and while visiting FBC Andrews, TX, we were blessed to participate in their morning worship service. To get to Andrews, however, we'd ridden on a charter bus all night, netting about 3 hours' sleep for each of us. Now, I don't know if you've ever been around 20 sleep-deprived teenagers, but everything they see and hear necessitates a giggle. Unfortunately, the church was scheduled to observe the solemn and sacred Lord's Supper that day. You can see this isn't going to go well, can't you?

Seated in the choir loft, we maintained the greatest dignity and respect for the solemnity of the occasion, until a deacon with squeaky shoes came to deliver the bread to us. Each step he took on the linoleum floor echoed above the organist's playing and rang out through the sanctuary. We snickered a bit, but after the "you're-going-to-die-very-soon" look we received from our director, we got ourselves under control. Moments later, that same deacon returned to the choir loft with the juice, squeaking all the way. As he took his departing step back onto the carpeted platform, he whispered, "Next time, I'm going to wear house-shoes!" We lost it. We broke into flat-out uproarous laughter - in the middle of Communion! All eyes in the sanctuary were on us at that point, and the somberness of the moment was lost. We truly felt awful about our disruption, but since then, I've often envisioned a subdued and thoughtful deacon wearing fuzzy pink slippers into the choir loft!

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