All was going well. Coffee and toast with marrow and ginger jam, the sun shining, off on the Dawes. And now everything has stopped because of a broken down train.
I have a choice: sit here and do some work whilst waiting for First Great Western to get its act together or jump on the bike and cycle all the way to Salisbury.
I would probably get there about the same time. A cycle ride in the sun would indeed be wonderful.
But I have another sermon to write, so by the railway of Warminster I sat down and wrote. This time it is for another rural Dean. There’s only 10 of them altogether but that will be two new ones in 24 hours.
The readings tonight are more sensible but no less serious: the people of Israel complaining about the leadership of Moses in the desert from Numbers, and Jesus predicting his own death in John 8, and the service held in a church dedicated to Thomas Becket, on the day the worldwide church remembers the assassination of Oscar Romero in 1980.
In Numbers the people complain, “Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? ” Better slavery than the so called freedom of wandering the thirsty desert for forty years, with only “detestable food.” You promised us a land flowing with milk and honey. Give us back our chains!
Poor rural Dean. What a prospect. The danger of all this is that church leaders seem immediately to identify themselves with Moses, or with even more presumption, Jesus.