Sesame Street had a great song when I was a regular viewer twenty-five years ago. They would flash a picture of four different items then joyfully sing, "One of these things does not belong here. One of these things just isn't the same......"
(I'm sure there's more to the song but I can't remember it right now.)
I would immediately see the odd item and start prompting the girls. "What doesn't match everything else around it?"
"See, a brush. A hair curler. A ribbon. A waffle iron." I gave it my best coaxing, patient-mom voice.
I knew the timer was ticking. Some small measure of tension would build in my chest. "C'mon girls! You can do this!"
Finally, at the last possible second someone would call out with the announcer, "Waffle Iron!"
"Yes!! Good job!" Applause all around. My children were brilliant and I knew it all along!
Soooo, what does this story have to do with Pentecost? You're probably wondering.
Well, we had a re-enactment of the "one of these things does not belong here" as we marked Pentecost Sunday yesterday. (Pentecost is the celebration in Christian churches that occurs fifty days after Easter.)
I don't normally write about special services with our church. But this one was so unusual (really kind of funny) I just had to share it today.
Frank felt we should hold a special time of prayer to mark Pentecost Sunday for our congregation. So we began announcing it and encouraging people to attend about three weeks ago.
Now usually if you call for a special prayer meeting and have more than ten people show up - that's a huge crowd. As prayer meetings go. But not Garden Grove!
By the time we started the first song, over half our congregation had arrived. We were so encouraged and excited to see what God had in store. When you get that many people focused on talking to God about the same things at the same time - well, something is going to happen for sure!
Get the full picture of what was happening through out the service:
Half the congregation pouring their hearts out to God!
Encouraging scriptures being read as prayer instruction!
Songs of passion and praise being sung!
The electricity going out!
Yep! We were half way through the order of service when it happened. One of the men leading a particular prayer had a microphone in his hand when the lights all blinked. Darkness! The electric keyboard went silent. The screens went black. The people gasped.
The odd thing? The emergency lighting kicked right back on and the microphone the leader was holding continued to work! We could still hear him reading the scriptures of instruction.
Frank had moved to the back of the auditorium so he just called out, "Keep praying! Don't stop!"
So, we all closed our eyes again and went right back to prayer. I mean, if you have your eyes closed anyway, why worry about the lights being out. Right?!
About fifteen minutes later, all our power equipment returned to normal operation. But I don't think we'll ever forget the "Power-less" Pentecost Sunday Prayer Meeting!
Here are a few of the scriptures I was given to read aloud about our friendship with the Holy Spirit:
I Samuel 10:6 He gives us the ability to change any area of our lives that isn't pleasing to God.
Proverbs 1:23 He gives us understanding of the Word of God.
Isaiah 63:14 He gives us rest/comfort.
John 16:13 He guides us into truth as a teacher.
Romans 14:17 He bring righteousness, joy and peace to us as we remain close to Him.
Romans 15:13 He causes us to increase in HOPE! (One of my favorites)