Rev Craig Cooney: Thought for the weekend
Every church minister has had their fair share of embarrassing moments. I have had many.
However, one of the most embarrassing took place during joint Holy Week services between various churches in Lurgan.
A different minister from each congregation was invited to preach and, on the day that it was my turn, I felt a very virulent strain of man-flu coming on.
In an attempt to alleviate the symptoms, I took a few too many doses of cold medication but didn't realise that each tablet contained both caffeine and another stimulant.
By the time I stepped up to the pulpit, let's just say that I felt very energetic.
The crowd watched wide-eyed as this young minister paced back and forth, speaking very fast.
Afterwards, an elderly lady from my church approached me and asked: "Craig, have you been taking drugs?"
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I was so embarrassed. Each time I thought of what had happened, I felt mortified.
That summer, a team of young people from our church were expressing their faith practically by cutting grass for the elderly.
They knocked on a door in an estate and, after informing the occupant what church they were from, asked the lady if she needed any help.
She inquired if their church had "a young, energetic minister with dark hair".
They said, yes, that sounded like their pastor. Then she told them: "I've never met him, but he preached at the Holy Week services a few months ago. I didn't usually go to church, but my friends invited me along.
"That night, after Craig's sermon, I committed my life to Jesus Christ. Will you let him know that what he said that evening impacted me greatly?"
As they conveyed this message to me, tears filled my eyes. The evening I had considered a complete humiliation was the same evening that had totally transformed this lady's life.
The reality is, we will all have embarrassing moments. Each of us, despite our best efforts, will do things we deeply regret.
Yet, Christ is able take our failures, imperfections and inadequacies and use them for His glory.
As the apostle Paul said: "God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong (1 Corinthians 1:27)."