Monday, August 04, 2008

Renewable Energy

The lights went out at church today, midway through the 3rd service.  We had just finished one set of songs, and we were about to begin another, more worshipful set, when there was the "pop" of electrical gadgetry suddenly silenced.  We were left with only the dim lighting of emergency lights--several hundred people with no sound system and no video screens.  In a church the size of ours, you come to depend on technology for sound, lighting, and climate control, but there would be no modern conveniences today.  The worship leader shifted gears in midstream, and I was glad my parents taught me to memorize hymns (both words and music).  Instead of our carefully practiced worship set with band accompaniment, we had just one singer, one piano, and a congregation relying on long-remembered hymns like "Amazing Grace."

While staffers and interns scrambled behind the scenes to find enough candles to shed light on the minister's Bible, the minister relied on his memory of the Word.  There was quiet in our building as all concentrated on hearing one voice in a place built for a thousand people.  Once in a while you could hear a baby's cry, but mostly what you heard was the silence of people straining to hear a godly man proclaim his next-to-last sermon after 60 years of preaching.

In the dim silence, God began to work.  People sang old familiar words with their hearts.  Though no one asked the congregation to stand, many stood, raised their hands, and worshiped.  At the end of the service, many came to ask for prayer.  Communion time was the most meaningful in recent memory.  At the conclusion of the service, people were reluctant to leave and stayed in their seats, praying.  The lights came on as we were dismissed, but the church was slow to empty.

All in all, this power outage made heavenly power visible.

Here's to darkness that reveals the light--the true source of renewable energy.

1 comment:

Tracey Eaton said...

Professor P -
thanks for your tip on the Cuban architect.
Tracey (Along the Malecon)