“Are you connected?” is a question pastors often ask. As a pastor, I need to be “plugged in” to many different areas. As a Methodist pastor, I need to be plugged in and connected to the larger Methodist church in order to fully live out my call in ministry. I also need to be connected to the community and to those outside of the church. In what ways are you “plugged in” to church, to the community, to God?
At the church the other day, we found out someone had “unplugged” our freezer. The freezer needs to be plugged in to work properly. Otherwise, it’s just a big metal box and doesn’t serve its primary purpose. In our spiritual lives, we can “get unplugged” and feel disconnected from God. It’s then that we realize we have lost our primary purpose. We are ineffective and can’t “transform the world.”
Last Sunday I shared this illustration: Gracie Allen was the scatterbrained wife of comedian George Burns. She and George were a terrific comedy duo – back in the day. Gracie had a strange way of logically thinking through problems. She called a repairman into her home to fix her electric clock. He took it apart and put it back together. He couldn’t find anything wrong with the clock except that it wasn’t plugged in. He questioned Gracie about it and she said, “I want to save on electricity, so I only plug the clock in when I want to check the time!” Convoluted thinking, but it provides a great illustration for our spiritual lives. We won’t be correct if we aren’t connected to the primary source of our power. That source is God. We “connect to God” through prayer and studying God’s word. How can we “plug into God” more consistently?
First, we need to connect on a personal level. When was the last time you read the Bible or prayed – apart from worship? At my home, the electric light sockets won’t work unless the switch is turned on. We may want to connect with God, but we need to turn on our switch so that we personally DESIRE that connection. The next step is to join a prayer meeting or Bible Study. You can do this online if you want to, but make certain you pray and think about the Scripture each day. Don’t just rely on others to “carry you along.” You can’t get the electrical current going unless you put the plug into the outlet! The third way to connect is by your witness. Do you attend worship? Do you invite others? Do you talk to other people about your relationship with God? This is similar to the circuit breaker in your home. If you have all the plugs in their proper sockets and the switches in the on position, but have no “juice” from the main circuit, then you won’t have any real power. That power comes from sharing with others your connection to God. The main circuit allows many different appliances, lights, clocks, etc. to “power up.”
In this last week before Holy Week, check your power source. Are you ready for the emotional rollercoaster of Holy week? How can you power up your faith? Are you plugged in? Who have you invited to worship? Perhaps that Maundy Thursday service or Good Friday concert might be the place to connect. May God’s power light your way! (I couldn’t resist!)
Rev. Bev Hall, pastor of Pleasant Hills United Methodist Church, Middleburg Heights, OH