Wednesday, January 11, 2012


The wee card arrived through the post just before Christmas, but it didn't contain any festive references, no pictures of nativity scenes or Santas. Instead, it advised us that there would be essential maintenance work on the power grid around Brookeborough, and therefore we would have no electricity between 9am and 5pm on the 10th January.

The day finally came (the second such day in the four and a bit months we've lived here!), and at 9.30am, our electricity was turned off. And it was in that moment that our reliance on power was exposed.
Electricity [3]
Beep - beep - beep went the house alarm, cut off from power it starts to suspect something is up, and makes sure any line-cutting intruders are scared off.

With no electricity, the central heating system wouldn't work, so the house gradually got colder, and the noise of the alarm was a bit annoying - perhaps I'll make a cup of tea. No, the kettle won't work. Well, what about some toast? Again, the cooker and the toaster won't run on air.

Maybe I could check my emails to distract myself? But there's no internet as the router is down, and mobile signal is patchy at the best of times (if we're actually still on O2UK and haven't caught the O2IE signal from across the border instead). At least the fully charged laptop was working, but then I went to print something, before realising the futility of the attempt!

It's a good job I was still able to read books, and work on my sermon prep for Sunday with pen and ink, otherwise I would have been lost for something to do. Around lunchtime I headed out for some messages and calls, and when I got home again the power was reconnected, allowing me to begin cooking the evening meal and doing all those other things I couldn't do earlier in the day!

Yesterday was a little reminder for me that we can be so dependent on something we take for granted. Unseen electricity enables us to do so much, but without it we're lost, truly powerless. In Acts, Jesus ascends into heaven, leaving his disciples to carry on the work of proclaiming the gospel, but he doesn't leave them powerless. It doesn't depend on their strength alone. Instead, he empowers them:

"But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” (Acts 1:8)

The Holy Spirit is given to all Christians so that we can live and work and witness to the Lord Jesus. Unseen, perhaps forgotten, but indispensable in the Christian life.

Picture by jnyemb, displayed under a Creative Commons licence.

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