Not much should prevent the preacher from taking a service.
I remember reading about a vicar in a lonely rural parish. His wife died suddenly on Christmas Eve but he still went to his little church on Christmas Day to conduct worship and administer the Sacrament. Nobody turned up, but, as he had to, he went through the whole liturgy – all on his own
If we are to be truly professional and true to our calling, then we should try to rise above personal circumstances.
My father (aged 62) died in the Western Infirmary in Glasgow early on a Saturday evening. I went back to the family home and stayed until 10 or 11 p.m. Drove the 30 odd miles back to my manse, grabbed a sandwich, and spent half the night preparing a sermon – which I preached during Sunday worship while conducting the service A quick bite and then back down the road to Bearsden.
And I loved my Dad dearly – it wasn’t a case of “couldn’t care less”
I conducted my Mother’s funeral just a handful of years ago. And wrote the Eulogy for my late wife’s service last June.
I’ve been in the pulpit with a bleeding nose, migraine, flu and a cracked open skull following being beaten up (this was on Christmas Eve (and there is a post about it on this blog – you’ll find it at 6 May 2012)
Thick-skinned? Some may say so…. but one is called to spread the Message “in season and out of season”