I got home from South Wales on Friday and was really ill. I don't know what it was exactly. Anyway I felt a little better Saturday but was still unwell. I watched all three rugby games (when I wasn't dozing). Being ill on a Saturday is a dilemma for any preacher (it's one reason why I try and arrange to be ill on a Tuesday if I can). At what point do you say "I'm not going to be well enough, I need to call on someone else". I decided to take it right up to the wire, even though we had at least three or four who can preach with us the next day. I woke a lot better on the Lord's Day morning but pretty tired and not 100%. In the past I have had the experience where you feel rotten and then you get up to preach and all is well. In fact it was a temptation to preach just to feel better. Anyway it wasn't quite the tonic I hoped for but I got through the morning meeting not too badly. I had decided to go back to 1 Corinthians and so we started on Chapter 12. Not an easy chapter but I am pretty clear about what it is saying. One of my sons got winched to safety by a helicopter this week so I had a ready made children's story about praying (dialling 999) and being rescued from above. It was good to be there.
We had two Romanians there, as we do from time to time, desperately looking for work.
After, we sang happy birthday to one of the students. We then had my elder and his wife (fresh back from South Africa) and a deacon and his wife and son around for lunch. That was really nice. My illness had put me behind with preparation and so I preached a golden oldie. (I actually told them in the morning that I was going to preach on Isaiah 6 but because I had been ill I would preach on Isaiah 40 - which makes no sense said like that). Robert Strivens, my elder, kindly led the communion service beforehand and I was able to preach okay from Isaiah 40:1-11, though my wife thought I was a bit tied to my notes.
It was census Sunday which I remembered and then forgot but my assistant Andrew Lolley had remembered to write everyone's name down as I had asked in a passing moment of thinking ahead. I see that we were 44 (counting 4 u-10s) in the morning and 25 in the evening, which is fairly typical I guess. That would include 10 Nigerians, 3 Filipinas, 3 Jamaicans, 2 Romanians and Brits from England, Wales and Ulster, etc. Need to find the form now.