I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the fact that I have been writing a sermon each week and preaching it most Sundays for the past 25 years. I mentioned in my sermon yesterday that I had calculated that this works out to something like over 500 total hours of actual preaching, or 21 straight days of talking, which, when I think of it this way and imagine sitting through all those words, sounds like a pretty good description of hell itself. So many words. And now with this blog I am putting forth even more words. Fortunately, in this medium you have the freedom to read or not to read, whereas if you’re sitting in church, you’re pretty much obliged to listen.
Here are some words to hold over my head: “If I speak in the tongues of mortals and of angels, but do not have love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.” (1Corinthians 13:1)
I am sure that there will be times when my words will sound like a clanging cymbal, and for this I ask your forgiveness in advance.
A couple of weeks ago on a Friday evening my family was engaging in various blitzing out activities common to our age that we use us to distract us from the cummulative stress and weariness of a week in this world. There was a video being watched and internet surfing going on. So many words. Suddenly, the power went out in the house. At first I assumed it was just a fuse, but soon enough we realized that the whole neighborhood had lost electricity. It was very quiet, and, since it was an overcaste night, absolutely pitch dark. At first the darkness was a bit disconcerting, but after locating some candles, the anxiety passed.Before long the silence and the gentle glow of the candlelight began to feel good, very good. There was a strong sense of divine presence, of peace. If the plug hadn’t been pulled, I wouldn’t have experienced it. The presence was there all along, but since it was covered up by all the words, I couldn’t sense it.
Curiously, a few days later when I was writing about this experience on my computer, the power again suddenly went out, this time only for a few seconds. God, I am convinced, has a sense of humor.