Today I was very honored to officiate a ceremony for a couple of friends. They got married three weeks ago in England, and had a ‘blessing ceremony’ today so that their stateside friends could join them. It was really wonderful, and I enjoyed the chance to celebrate with them, and to share a little sermonette.
There was only one little thing. They had a friend, a Welterweight Evangelical Theologian (a WET), who they asked to participate. Well, when I was first invited to participate in this ceremony, the WET was going to give the sermon, and take a large part in the service. But when I talked to my friends this week, they said the WET was not able to take such a large part; in fact, he would only be interested in offering a brief prayer of blessing. Which was just fine with me. So I did my best to bang out a decent sermon, and put everything together.
When the WET introduced himself and checked on the details before the service, he was a tad incredulous. “I’m only to pray? I was hoping to offer some comments, and then pray for a bit,” he said. Which was, once again, fine with me.
Except that my part didn’t go so good. It was hot out in the garden, and I felt a bit of a struggle. Had trouble finding my groove. Sometimes, preaching is like pushing a shopping cart through sand, and today was one of those days. Plus, did I mention it was hot? I might have been perspiring a fair bit the whole time. Ugh.
So when I threw it to my main WET, I was a little embarrassed. I mean, he strode up and offered the smoothest, tastiest, coolest quaffs of cultural observation and personal anecdote and gentle challenge that you ever did hear. My sweat rate leveled off at first, then increased. Ugh. Ugh.
But here’s the real kicker. Mr. WET had the fullest, thickest British accent you ever heard. I never stood a chance.