powerfully without power

The derecho at the end of last month
wreaked havoc in our neighborhood
and left the church without full power
for more than a week
and so for the first two Sundays of this month …
which was ample time to re-notice
and reaffirm
something observed before.

In the past, with the a.c. not working in the summer,
or with large quantities of snow and ice in the winter,
we’ve had to adjust our Sunday schedule.
We cancel Sunday School—
try not to cancel worship,
and so, through the years, on numerous occasions,
have had Sunday morning worship
in less than ideal circumstances.

And this I’ve noticed consistently:
The people present on such Sundays
(and usually more people than I would expect)
choose to be present despite circumstance,
and circumstance is thus overcome.

Those present come knowing from the get-go
they will face some discomfort—
some inconvenience.
They are there to worship anyway.

And though I would hasten to say
it may well represent more a matter of perception than anything else,
there seems a greater apparent sense of focused intent,
a more obvious awareness that we’re all in this together,
an almost palpable openness to what is
(both to the obvious circumstances that are
but also, in related manner, to the God who is),
and worship is more unmistakably happening
both before the prelude and after the postlude.

So in the aftermath of the derecho,
for two inconvenient Sundays,
the spirit of fellowship and of worship was,
as expected,
overwhelming, wonderful …
and power-full.

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