by Linda Veath Cox
It happened in the blink of an eye. Right in the middle of the “meet and greet.” Shortly after 8:30 a.m. on a cloudy, dreary Sunday morning, the lights went out at church. The silence in the darkness was quite deafening as the congregation just froze where they were.
Finally, amidst a few chuckles, we found our way back to our pews and looked at Pastor Cameron. Now what do we do? The only light slipped in through the stained glass windows along one side of the church, the candles at the altar, and whatever flashlights we had in our purses or pockets.
Barely missing a beat, Pastor Cameron said “carry on” and that we did. He read Scripture by flashlight and preached without his usual notes. We prayed. We sang hymns acappella. We celebrated Communion. And, of course, we took up an offering.
It was one of the most beautiful worship services I have ever experienced. The silence that permeated the darker sanctuary was one of reverence. Silence that wrapped around us as we sang and spoke. Quietness that didn’t get lost in the bright lights and the sounds of a regular worship service.
The candles flickered gently, gifting us with a new perspective of the altar area. The large cross hanging at the front of the sanctuary was cast in shadows yet very visible even in the darkness—a bold reminder that the cross is always there, even when we don’t “see” it, even in the shadows of our lives. The somberness of the darkened room pulled us deeper into the true meaning of the Communion bread and wine—the body and blood of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, given for us.
The awareness of God’s presence throughout the time of worship followed us out the door that day. People quietly, reverently, commented about the beauty of the service.
Thank you, Lord, for a wonderful, much needed reminder. Our first reaction when lights go out is often to grumble and complain. But that Sunday morning instead of grumbling about no electricity, we worshiped and praised God in spite of the darkness. His light shone in us and in doing so the darkness was dispelled.
Isn’t that the way we are to live in this sin-darkened world of ours? Praising and worshipping God even in the presence of darkness? For as we do, we are sharing the message that Jesus is the Light of the world and in Him there is no darkness.
God once said, “Let the light shine out of the darkness!” This is the same God who made His light shine in our hearts by letting us know the glory of God that is in the face of Christ. ~ 2 Corinthians 4:6 NCV