"A speechless pastor?" you say. "Yeah right, what other oxymorons do you have for my reading entertainment today?"
But it's true. After three months at home with my family, I returned to my office last week refreshed, excited about my pastoral vocation, and maybe even a tiny bit rested. (Not a simple thing with the demographics at my house.) But by the third day, I began to lose my voice.
I squeaked through a council meeting on Thursday. I did my best to shout to the hearing-impaired homebound folks I visited on Friday. And I did everything I could to avoid shouting at my kids on Saturday. By Sunday, there was enough voice to carry me through the presiding minister's duties, but it didn't sound pretty.
"I ain't singing today," I told the organist. That would have been enough for the church to send me back home again.
Our witty and wonderful babysitter told me later in the week, "Maybe you should tell the church, 'I guess I just didn't have enough time off!'"
I did mention to a couple of folks at church yesterday that my voice dilema bears a tiny resemblance to the dilema in this weekend's gospel. Holy smokes, am I excited to preach, and I am joyful my voice squeaked this weekend and (hopefully) not next weekend!
It's the story of Zechariah's missing voice, disappearing after he gaffawed at the angel's announcement that these to AARP members were about to need lamaze classes. So, that's what I'm thinking about. Relating to a humbled Zechariah building up words in his mind, only to have to wait until everything and everyone was ready for him to speak up again. Certainly, my words won't be as earth-shattering as Zechariah's! But like him, I'll be glad to point to Christ, humbled enough to appreciate sharing a few words.