Advent 1 – Sunday
I really could go for some sleep. Some deep sleep. Right about now.
If I didn’t wake up from it, I don’t think I’d care.
That oft-talked about phrase used in modern life – “burnout” – has been a real big factor this year for me. Maybe I’m just getting old now.
I know I have to be on my guard at these times. For these are the times when I can end up particularly in the dumps. Physically, mentally and spiritually in the dumps. And where the urge to end it all rears its ugly head. Kyrie eleison.
This is three weeks in a row where I haven’t gone (or am not going) to St. John’s on Sunday evenings. Usually because my parents have dragged me out to some function after church in the morning and then I have to get the usual stuff all done before Monday morning rolls around. So vespers/evensong will happen again here at home tonight. Not quite the same, but at least I know that I’ll be using the same texts for the readings as those who are at the cathedral this evening.
I’m simply just too darn tired to drive up to St. John’s tonight. This weekend has been a killer. Being audio boy on Friday night for Rev. Yuan Zhi Ming’s evangelistic rally. Toowoomba in the day yesterday to attend my cousin’s wedding. Then a mad rush back to Brisbane to help Chris out with audio last night for Rev. Yuan’s second rally and then being audio boy again this morning for the final worship service and closing ceremony of the CMCA’s 9th Annual Conference. Rev. Yuan’s evangelistic rallies were rather amusing for me. For all the Protestant notion that we don’t (or we shouldn’t) have someone like the Pope, watching the adoring throngs trying to cosy on up to Rev. Yuan for a photo or an autograph in one of his books they had purchased on the night kinda made him look like an Asian Pope to me. That potentially apocryphal saying by Catholics to Protestants rang a little bit true: Protestants don’t have a Pope, they have many…
Managed to say a hi and have a quick chat with Bp. Hwa Yung here this morning. Especially seeing as he’s just come out of the Annual Conference season in the Methodist Church in Malaysia: six back in the motherland that recently finished – Chinese Annual Conference, Tamil Annual Conference, Trinity Annual Conference, Sarawak Chinese Annual Conference, Sarawak Iban Annual Conference, Sabah Provisional Annual Conference. Last time I saw him I think he was either preaching at Seremban Wesley Methodist or he was paying my grandmother a visit and I happened to be visiting Malaysia at the time. His vestments were the standard Methodist episcopal dress: black preaching/Geneva gown (standard attire) and a purple stole that looks a heck of a lot like the bishop’s purple stole my grandfather wore. Very similar embroidery on it too. I’m a noticer of details…
Was pleasantly surprised to see Bp. John Lin from the Methodist Church in the Republic of China (Taiwan) here too. Dad introduced me to him after the service was over and the first thing he said to me in Mandarin was “You really look like your grandfather a lot!” Interesting vestments for him too. An all white preaching/Geneva gown with the purple stole. I like.
Best of luck, wishes and prayers for the new CMCA Bishop, Bp. James Kwang who takes over from the former bishop, the Rev. Albert Chiew. And who under the standard Methodist discipline, Rev. Chiew, reverts back to being a regular elder now, unlike in the UMC where I believe bishops retain their ecclesiastical standing for life after they are consecrated irrespective of whether or not they are a resident bishop of an Annual Conference. Here’s hoping that the next quadrennium under him will be fruitful. His Geneva gown reminded me of the judicial gown of the 16th US Supreme Court Chief Justice, William Rehnquist. Classy. The consecration of Bp. Kwang today was an interesting one. The saddest part was that I had the consecration service going on in my head (including the requisite texts) while those on the stage were saying the same words at the same time. My brain is fast becoming a repository of liturgical flotsam and jetsam…
Time for vespers and then it’s ironing time. Lo’ and behold, it’ll be Monday morning before I know it. Where on earth do the weekends go?