Tuesday, July 15, 2008

And then the lights came back on...

I was reaching for the telephone to return a call about 2:30 PM, and suddenly, the overhead light in my office came back on.

I told the parishioner I was calling what had just happened.

When I finished the call, I checked the hallway....the lights work.

The computer monitor in the secretary's office was on.

The lights in the secretary's office came on when I flipped the switch.

Understand, this church can't really afford to call in an electrician to fix things like this. Perhaps it was the failure of a single phase on the line that just got corrected.

I like to think it was God.

Thanks, God!

In the Dark

I'm sitting here in my office in the middle of the day, working on my sermon, in the dark.

It's probably my fault. Last week when I was here, the central air wasn't keeping up (compressor problem? I don't know,) so I turned on the aged window unit to cool the office. It ran for a while, noisily, but it was helping the temperature improve.

After about 20 minutes, there was a pop, the unit stopped making noise, and my lights went off. I went in and shut off the AC, and decided I needed to look for the circuit box. But then my office lights came back on. I figured it must have righted itself somehow, or maybe it was just a surge from the public utility that shut everything off.

When we came in Sunday morning, the power was off in the secretary's office (there is no secretary), and the hallway. Lights still worked in the bathrooms and classrooms. I found the breaker boxes and flipped all the switches, but the lights that were out wouldn't come back. I tried again this morning when I came in, and still no luck, and now my office lights don't come on either. The wall outlet is good, the phone, radio, computer, and printer still have power, but the only light in my office comes from a very small west-facing window that is well-shaded, and the light of my computer screen.

It's giving me a different perspective on my sermon writing. The scripture is the parable of the wheat and tares. As I began thinking about this, I was thinking about how none of us is really in any position to judge anyone else. We can't tell who is good and who is bad. That is really up to God. That's the way I'm looking at going with the sermon.

But as I sat here in the dark, reading the other lectionary scriptures for the week, and doing a little free association to look for links, I remembered the short story "Revelation" that we read in one of my seminary preaching classes. It was about a woman who was very judgmental and in the end saw a bridge leading to heaven with all kinds of people on it. The author, Flannery O'Connor, actually said that she had written the story about Jacob's Ladder, and that just happens to be the Hebrew Bible selection for this week. Eureka! A link between the two has been discovered! I think I now have my starting point and somewhere to go.

But I'm still in the dark.