"No power." That was my response to quizzical looks people had as they came into church this morning. Our church meets in a middle school building, and shortly after plugging in the coffee pot and the sound system during set-up time, the electricity went out. There are some windows, so it wasn't pitch black, but the mugginess outside seeped into our un-air-conditioned space, there was no music to be heard, and NO COFFEE. What was going on?? Something about being hit by lightening, a main source failing, the box blowing up... short and easy answer: "No power."
But as we migrated into the cafeteria (where there was the most light) and Graham started to play the upright piano and Bryan started strumming his unplugged guitar, I realized I'd been saying something wrong all morning. I could hear more of the congregation's voices... we all sang louder than normal because we didn't have the equipment and accoustics we normally do to carry the sound. The communion thought was shared and we all turned in our Bibles to the passage to read it because we couldn't depend on PowerPoint. Michael spoke, and God strengthened and amplified his voice with passion and earnestness so he could be heard. It reminded me that there are Christians all over the world who do this regularly without light, technology, air conditioning, and - believe it or not - without coffee. And they grow and learn and worship together in Spirit and Truth just as we did this morning. So really, saying we had no power was all wrong.
I got to pray for a while with Alan today, and we used Ephesians 1 as a guide for our prayers. We prayed about wisdom and revelation (v.17) and clarity of vision and understanding (v.18). Then we got to v. 19-20: "I pray...that you may know... his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is like the working of his mighty strength, which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms..."
We have power! It's an incomparably GREAT power - a mighty strength! It's the power that raised Jesus from the dead... the power that positioned him above all things... and it is OURS if we belong to God! It was there with us this morning as we sang and read and preached and served and prayed and fellowshipped and worshipped together... How dare I claim we had no power?? We had more power than all the forces of hell!
Praise to God, who so generously and abundantly pours out the power of his love on us, his children.