I was just thinking this morning of odd events in my life as a pastor, and was wondering if anything similar had happened to you.
1. Did you ever baptize someone under the wrong name? Some years ago, I had to spend several minutes after a baptism with a teary-eyed mother assuring her that she did not have to go to the courthouse to change her baby’s name simply because I had made an error when I baptized her baby. I assured her that God knew her baby better than I and that He has most certainly gotten the name right.
2. Did you ever drop the rings at a wedding? At the second wedding I ever officiated, I dropped the ring, only to watch with horror as it landed on edge and rolled down the aisle with the best man chasing it and swiping at it.
3. Did you ever have the deacon come out with a bottle of wine during the Eucharist? When I was an Anglican priest in Bolivia, I was training a new pastor for the Lutherans. We ran out of wine in the common cup, so I asked him to bring some more, intending to add it to the remaining blood of Christ in the cup, and expecting him to come with a cruet in hand. Instead, he grabbed the wine bottle from the storage area, and proudly came down the aisle with it in his hand, holding it by the bottle neck. In shock, I quietly poured some into the cup, said a hurried blessing, and continued on with communion.
4. Did your health ever leave you in an embarrasing spot? Just last week, at the end of the Clergy Symposium, I had a bad back. As we were going to enter the lunchroom, one of the hierarchs was by the door in a chair. As I bent to kiss his hand, I realized that my back was not going to cooperate and was left hanging in the air, as he stared puzzledly as I stopped. I finally had to whisper my predicament to him, at which point he began to giggle (just a little), raised himself and his hand, and let me complete the expected reverence. All present had a good laugh.