would you rather –

5 Apr
Last week was a bit on a crazy side. Holy week brought a weekend of five worship services and with the addition of two funerals, time was short and stress was high. But now, as I write this on the Monday of a new week, it’s evident that I survived! woot! I’ll speak more of holy week services in a later post but first, some new “firsts” which led to the following question from my supervisor :
Would you rather eat a hamball or preach a funeral sermon?
My first hamball: In this region of Minnesota, if there is a visitation preceding a funeral the night before, it ends with a prayer service. As the intern, the prayer services are my gig. I led a prayer service this past Tuesday night and then the husband – the same man who has taken to calling me “Pastor Sweet Pea” – invited me over to his house to join his family for lunch. (It was 8pm … “lunch” could mean anything except the noon-day meal.) Unable to say no to pretty much anything, I accepted the offer.
I arrived at his house and immediately was shooed into the lunch line. I grabbed myself a sandwich and a cookie. My host gave up his chair at the dinner table for me, I sat down and then someone behind me grabbed my plate and returned it to the table with an addition – a hamball swimming in chunks of pineapple and a mysterious sauce.
Now, I’m not blaming the cook but rather am simply questioning the ethics of it all. Ground ham in ball form? I ate it but will admit – as I texted my supervisor following the incident – I was “mildly disgusted.” This was something new to me and I’m not so certain I was a fan. Apparently, upon further investigation, I understand that the meat market in town sells the ground ham. As more people find out my general distaste towards the ball of pig, I grow worried that it will show up on my plate more often. Sarcastic threats of hamballs have been many from coworkers since the hamballing episode …
My first funeral sermon: With the planning of holy week services and writing of Easter sermons in addition to two funerals, I had my first opportunity to write and preach a funeral sermon. My supervisor typically preaches at all funerals but with the schedule of this week, it seemed to be a good chance for me to have the experience.
So here is what Lindsay does – Lindsay accepts such challenges with an optimistic mindset and then freaks out days later when she realizes what she needs to do and feels in no way equipped to do it. I felt very ill-equipped to write a funeral sermon; the words came very difficult for me. I knew very little of the woman or her family and that, for me, made it more of a challenge.

But you know what? I did it. I wrote it. I preached it. I received critique and feedback from my supervisor in the days preceding and after preaching, felt fairly confident about the message. Because the funeral took place on the Saturday before Easter, I spoke of Easter lilies and the symbol of hope in the resurrection that they convey. The sanctuary at Grace was decorated with lilies for the next morning and, it turns out, a lily was the flower that the family gave for the funeral. God was at work.
Which would I rather do? As a facebook friend wrote to me – the best of both worlds – “Convince the family to include hamballs in the funeral lunch to eat after preaching the sermon.” Jackpot.

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