What a glorious feeling, I'm... oh, wait. Nope. It turns out that when you get into a pulpit, and the congregation is looking up and around and at each other instead of listening to your sermon, well, its not actually a glorious feeling.
This past Sunday, I thought I had a decent sermon - telling the whole story of Solomon, and talking about our need to nurture and cultivate spiritual gifts over our whole lives. I even began by talking about Aladdin and some of the similarities, in order to get at the distinctly non-happy-ever-after part of the Solomon story. It wasn't my best sermon ever, but I thought it was at least vaguely interesting. Only a couple sentences in however, I noticed that the congregation was clearly not paying any attention.
Now, to be fair, there was a huge thunderstorm going on overhead. The thunder made it hard to hear, and the PA system tended to crackle when there was lightning - so I was willing to cut them a little slack. But c'mon - at least listen the first paragraph before checking out!
Then, the ink on my page started to smear, and I realized what was happening. My church is a beautiful, traditional looking church - wooden pews, lots of stained glass, choir stalls in the chancel - and absolutely no air conditioning. We do have overhead fans, by pulling on these long ropes, you can open the highest row of stained glass windows - and together, it makes the church almost bearable in summer. Of course - open windows in a thunderstorm are less helpful: the poor congregation was getting rained on!! Since I had been sitting up in the chancel, I hadn't realized it. Thankfully, my ever-ready husband and another man got up and started closing the windows. But as I mentioned before, this requires pulling on long ropes - and you need to stand in the center aisle of the church. Distracting, to say the least, but it did put a stop to the spontaneous baptisms going on! Maybe next time, we'll just stop what we're doing, stand up, and reaffirm our Baptismal covenant.