WORDS FROM W.W. April 13, 2010

The electrician is here at the church today. We’re upgrading our lighting. Well…upgrade might not be the most accurate term. It’s more like getting lighting in our library that will allow someone to actually be able to see the words of the book that they’re trying to read. It’s along the lines of saying my grandparents got upgraded when they put in indoor plumbing…which, by the way, I remember happening! I don’t know…I think going from generic to Kellogg’s Rice Krispies is more of an upgrade than that.
We’re replacing dimmer and diminishing lights that use more power with brighter lights that use less power. Would someone explain that one to me?
Plus, we’re replacing lights that are there, but don’t work anymore, with lights that will work. What a concept!
The entrance that most of our congregation uses is the darkest entry point into our building of any. It’s like visiting Mammoth Caves in Kentucky, except darker.
The entrance that most of our congregation uses is the darkest entry point into our building of any. It’s like visiting Mammoth Caves in Kentucky, except darker.
This didn’t happen all at once. It gradually got that way. One of the lights started flickering, then it was okay, then it was flickering, then it was out, back on, out again…you get the jest. After a while people get used to it. Kind of like your dog’s bad breath. You love him to death so you live with “breath that could kill a cow.” It just becomes part of the whole package.
But in our building several of the light fixtures have reached that “hospice point”. New lighting is about to shine new light on the matter.
Being the astute reader that you (obviously) are, you’ve probably already started to figure out the direction that this article is heading. Sometimes the light starts to dim in the church and no one notices until it’s too dark. And yet, scripturally “light” is one of the defining nouns of the Body of Christ. Jesus said “You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl.” (Matthew 5:14-15a) But what about light that isn’t intentionally hidden, but just gradually dims?
Perhaps the flickering or dimming of our passion for God is what we need to be conscience of. (I’m reading through the bible this year. About the time I reach Job there is some flickering that happens in my light.)
In terms of being the people of the God, the tendency is for those outside of the church (And I don’t mean the building!) to be able to sense, if not see, light-dimming taking place more often than people of the church sense it. It goes back to the principle of your dog’s bad breath. You’re used to it, but your new neighbor, who is sitting on your couch, might have a problem with it. On the other hand, if there is someone you want to make sure never “darkens” the door of your place again, you might intentionally put your dog in his face.
In our church a few light adjustments and changes are going to make a world of difference. One of the new lights is simply being re-positioned. The new outlook seems to be changing how most of the area around it looks. Perhaps if we get enough new light the whole place will be transformed. The church will be exposed for who we are…supposed to be, not who we’ve been when things come to light.
One last light bulb that just came on! Too much light is blinding. Like in the old days when the school photographer would come to take class pictures and everyone would walk around blinded for a few minutes afterwards. It’s no wonder we looked so “uncertain” in the photos! Likewise, the church has too often been a “flash in the pan.” Bright lights for a moment, and then hit the dimmer switch!
Abundant light is not blinding light. Abundant light is hope seen, and the possibilities illuminated. Abundant light draws not cause annoyed squinting.
Next week a guy comes to look at the garbage disposal. I’m curious what kind of insights God will bring into my fat head then.

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3 Comments on “NEW LIGHTING”

  1. John Says:

    What a great analogy with light. I have been to churhes when you walk in you are “blinded with light” and I end up squinting the whole time and wondering when I can leave. Then I have been to churches where there isn’t enough “light” to see. As christians we need to light the way so people can see the path we walk and join us on our journey. But if we blind them or put them in the dark – how can they join us?

  2. Monica Phillips Says:

    Great post, Bill!

    Gotta say…when the new, bright lights are on and illuminate the once dark places, we need to be somewhat prepared for the flaws that will quickly appear.

    This new light does, in fact, make a world of difference!! However, if we are unprepared to discover the cracks in the walls, the cobwebs in the corner, the dust on the shelves, and the wrinkles in the carpet then we are apt to leap over all the furniture to quickly shut off the lights all together for fear someone will see the terrible flaws we’ve just discovered. And then…never turn them on again.

    Rather, let’s turn the lights back on, invite folks over, and work with other friendly and mature Christian friends to help us clean up our flaws so we can keep the lights on!

    Just some thoughts from my fat head to yours! =)

  3. Lisa Bonotto Says:

    Love the analogy. Love one of the last lines in the blog….”Abundand light is hope seen and the possibiites illuminated”. Love that line! One of my pet peaves is that so many new “mega or mega-wanna-bes” in this area and others are building (to put it bluntly) big pole barns and you walk in to a dark room with all the lights off, a big screen at the front with the words of the songs as well as sometimes the people on the platform being projected on to that screen. I hate it. I know I know, I’m not supposed to say hate. But, I HATE it! What happened to NATURAL lighting…….letting GOD0-created sunshine stream through the windows of a building???!!! Jesus is the light of the world and we create caves to enter into for worship. I just don’t get it. Love the analogy. Love the insights.

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