Remembrance Day in these parts -- visitors in church too -- we found a trumpeter, a lovely young woman in the "reserves" -- think "National Guard" if you're south of the 49th, ok? Unfortunately, or joyfully, or both, TrumpetGirl can't get into her uniform just at present, as she's expecting her 2nd child in January. So she did not have to be at the cenotaph etc. but was at liberty to come and add the Last Post and Reveille to a civilian commemoration. I was a bit apprehensive about how HARD she could be allowed to blow that thing, in her interesting condition... but she did beautifully and added some nice crisp edge to the hymn accompaniments too. And we read all the parish names of "the fallen"...almost fifty from the First World War, most of whom died in the summer of 1916; only nine from the Second World War, nearly all air force.
I preached on the text from Haggai*: "How does it look to you now?" about the moments in life when all your hopes have come to nothing but rubble, and the Lord says "Take courage; work, I will be with you." I tied it to bereavements in time of war but also to marriage breakdowns, loss of work, loss of health, and so on--"And how does it look to you now?" Sort of worried that I might have composed the all time Big Downer of a sermon...but lots of concrete feedback after the service -- "That's just how it felt."
Now for a wonder there's nothing on this afternoon's schedule so I'm creeping home for a nap and some domesticity...and exercises!
*Fun last week with a parishioner who insisted there was no such book as Haggai and if there was, it wasn't in the Bible, because SHE couldn't find it, for heaven's sake. I admitted that if you were to blink you would miss Haggai, all right. Eventually she was mollified.