I have a recurring nightmare. In the dream, I get up on a Sunday morning, drive to church and don my vestments, and step into the pulpit to preach. But my manuscript is gone. There are no words awaiting me on the lectern. Beads of sweat collect on my forehead. I begin to speak without notes, and it is a disaster. It is always a disaster. I fumble. People in the pews roll their eyes. The congregation begins to get up and walk out, and my muddled voice is drowned out in the hubbub. That’s my nightmare.
Shopping at Wal-Mart near the end of Lent, a priest ran into one of his parish children in the candy aisle. The little boy, Johnny, holding a giant chocolate rabbit, eagerly looked up at his priest and said, “We’re getting ready for Easter!”
The priest was understandably disappointed. He’d invested so much in the parish Sunday school program, only to see this doe-eyed child equate the church’s holiest day with a super-heroic rabbit. He looked very seriously at the little boy and asked, “Johnny, do you know what Easter is about?”