So, I am going to boast, brag, wander around with my chest puffed out, look down my nose at all the plebeian people that don’t get to be as proud of their first-born-kids as I do, this day.
Why, you may wonder, why are you so pleased and proud as can be?
No need to wonder for long, I’ll tell you- in fact, I’ll tell the world. In fact, I am, in a sense, telling the world- but you knew that, and you – what’s that? Oh, yeah, get to the point.
I am the proudest father in the world today, because my son Jeremy, at 20, just preached his first sermon. Yes indeed, he did. He’s been toying with the idea for a long time now, (long in 20-year-old years), about going to Seminary, and studying for ordination in the Episcopal Church. Well, it’s been long for us, too, because we’ve known this for him, about him, and with him, from the first stirrings.
A couple of years ago, before he left home for his first year of undergrad work, he approached our Rector, basically saying, “I think I’m going to go to seminary.” This is the same rector that I approached as well, when I wandered in and said “I think I’m supposed to be a priest.” Apparently, this runs in our family- my brother the already-ordained-minister would not be too startled, I don’t think.
Anyway- Jeremy has known this was calling to him for a long time, and has spent the intervening time studying as any college student should, learning about life and love and grades and long-distance relationships and beer and phone home and how to do the laundry. In short, a pretty typical kid, doing very well in school but not so focused he’s not fun, either.
So this summer, as he was casting about for employment (cuz I can’t cover the full load for four years, much as I wish I could), an opportunity came up that was God’s answer to prayers. We had, in our church, been planning on hiring an assistant this year; due to timing, some circumstances with the diocese, and the graduation cycle at the seminary, it wasn’t happening. However, it was proposed to our Vestry that our Rector be allowed to hire a summer intern, instead- and he (the rector) felt that Jeremy would be the perfect choice, if Jeremy was willing to serve in this way. Oh, was he ever!
He’s been busy, following the Rector’s daily routine, meetings and phone calls, pastoral visits and baptisms, assisting at services, helping to plan our summer mission trip. He was involved in Judy’s funeral, and in planning for an upcoming wedding.
And, he’s been scheduled to preach, twice this summer; today, being the first of the two occasions.
There’s something very weirdly incredibly powerful, about sitting in the pews of the church I love so much, watching a normal service underway- until, that is, your own kid, your very own little boy climbs up to the pulpit and begins to speak.
He Was Awesome.
The only way I can describe it, from my point of view anyway. Did you know that my kid was that cool, that he could preach about Rebekah and Isaac and Abraham and the Slave that went to find Rebekah? Well, trust me, he’s that cool, he did a great job. Don’t even have to take just my word for it- I was told, many many times, after the two services, that he did a terrific job and how proud I can be of him.
Naturally, I agreed, because I am terrificly proud of him. And, know what else is really neat? He’s not soo big, that this afternoon, in the winding down, the post-game-stress-relief, so to speak- he can still fall asleep curled up on my bed next to me, as we’re talking about it, and he just drifted off.
So, he’s still my little boy, and I think I like that part, too.