Karen was in church this past Sunday with no cane and no apparent limp only three weeks after having her left knee replaced. She wowed the crowd. It was great to have her there. She even came up for communion, the first in almost two months and there’s the subject of my blog. Allow me to elaborate and set the stage for my sin.
Last Sunday, September 30th, the topic for my sermon was SIN based on the gospel text from Mark 9:38-50 where Jesus said, “if your hand causes you to sin, cut it off.” Well, I sinned, BIG TIME, and compounded it by trying to put the blame on someone else — Karen — or at least share it with her. In the several months Karen could not get to church for anything, much less worship, I never once brought her Holy Communion or offered it to her.
That afternoon after being in worship and taking communion, she mentioned how wonderful it was and how it would have been nice sooner. And instead of saying how sorry I was for being so negligent as her pastor and her husband in failing her, I came back with, “Well, you never asked me.” How stupid can I get and please don’t answer me.
I am so very sorry. At church I’ve got Pastor Don, our visitation pastor, to fulfill the responsibility of taking the Sacrament to the disciples of St. Paul that are shut-in. That should not have included Karen. After all, I’m right there. I pray for her renewed strength, to deal with her pain, to have her health restored to vitality every day. I pray for our love to continue to flourish which is a source for my strength, asking God that He blesses us with many more years together every day. Yet, I forgot to offer to her, to bring to her, the life giving body and blood of our Lord when she most needed it.
Some pastor I am.
Fortunately, I know she has forgiven me and I know God has forgiven me, and in writing this open confession it will help me forgive me. At least I pray it will. You can count on one thing. This week Dawn, my oldest daughter, and her fiancée, Dan, are coming to visit for several days to help “Mom & Dad” out around the house. I will certainly offer communion to them. They’ve missed a few Sundays here and there, too.
And those are my thoughts. God bless.
Pastor Lee R. Harder