It happened some time ago during a worship service at a church where I was the pastor in north Louisiana. I have never forgotten it. It happened right in the middle of my sermon. A power outage occurred in the neighborhood, and the lights in the church suddenly went out. The sanctuary was completely enclosed with no outside windows, so it was instantly quite dark, except for a couple of candles and some emergency lights. In my years of ministry, something like this had never happened before. Everyone was stunned for a few seconds. We briefly laughed about it, then I continued with the sermon, in the dark. Thankfully, the lights came back on a couple of minutes later.
I believe the application to us is obvious. Our churches today are in danger of losing power . . . real power . . . inward power . . . spiritual power. If that happens, we become weak and ineffective. If that happens, we become nothing more than a social club, making very little difference to those around us.
There is an answer to this power shortage. Actually, it is the only answer. That answer comes to us in the Person of the Holy Spirit.
Jesus said to His disciples, “Go to Jerusalem and wait there until the power of the Holy Spirit comes upon you.” (Acts 1:8)
It is my prayer that First United Methodist Church, and EVERY church in our community, will discover once again the power of the Holy Spirit, and keep the light of Christ shining brightly for all around us.