First of all let me set the scene for you.
Our Church had just endured a long and troubled interregnum but our new priest had just arrived in post and the future looked bright once again and I felt a distinct lessening of the pressure that I had been under during the Interregnum tinged with a sense of sadness that my role in the church would now inevitably diminish.
It was father Graham’s first Sunday and he asked me if I would help him with our 8am Eucharist, which I was glad to do. I was expecting a period of transition but was unsure how long this might take. Just before we left the vestry father Graham asked me if I would undertake the first reading which I did with a little trepidation. I normally like to read the reading several times in advance but the Bible was already in place in the Chapel and there was no time to sneak out and take a look. I was only slightly perturbed because my ministry has always been firmly rooted in the Bible. It is the rock, the very foundation, on which my ministry has been built. I love it and I trust it, it is my inspiration and my friend. Over the years God has used it in many and various ways to speak to me, but I was not expecting Him to use it in quite the way He did that morning.
When the time came I went forward and started to read;
‘This morning’s first lesson is taken from the Prophet Isaiah chapter 22: verses 20 – 24’
And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will call my servant Eliakim the son of Hilkiah: And I will clothe him with your robe, and strengthen him with your belt, and I will commit your authority into his hand: and he shall be a father to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and to the house of Judah. And the key of the house of David will I lay upon his shoulder; so he shall open, and none shall shut; and he shall shut, and none shall open. And I will fasten him as a peg in a sure place; and he shall become a glorious throne to his father’s house. And they shall hang upon him all the glory of his father’s house, the offspring and the posterity, all vessels of small quantity, from the vessels of cups, even to all the vessels of pitchers.
Pretty clear what God was saying to me that morning “David, your fired!”