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Jesus and Powerlines

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about what the church should be.  So many people have their own ideas of how the church should function.  It’s easy to get lost in a myriad of questions about worship style, dress, sermons, offerings, and communion.  Some people hop from church to church hoping for the perfect combination tailored to their every taste.  Others hold on to a stagnant, dead building without ever trying to infuse life into the damp and musty services. 

The other day we had to take a drive on an errand and as my husband drove, I relished the ability to just sit and be.  (Now a parent myself, we have a dvd player in the van.)  Looking at my passing surroundings I was drawn to the power lines.  I noticed that there are all types of poles for the lines.  Some are simple, made of crude wood logs.  Others are intricate, made of sturdy metal.  The lines are even tied differently depending upon what type of power they are servicing.  I even found some with the mysterious red balls on them.    I’ve always had a small fascination with power lines.  I guess part of the reason is that as a child we lived in Texas, far from any family, so we drove a lot.  Back then we didn’t have iPods or dvd players.  We didn’t have cd players, I’m not even sure that we had a cassette player for several years.  So we entertained ourselves with observing our surroundings.  Games like ISpy, the ABC game, or sign watching were often played.  But one thing I’ll never forget is the red balls that hung on the power lines, seemingly, everywhere near our house.  I never knew what they were for, but I always think of Texas, even today, when I see them.  But this day the poles that captured my attention and got me thinking were in the shape of crosses.  There was a country road completely lined with the cross-shaped poles.For some reason this made me reflect back upon the function of the church….

The poles of power lines serve no other purpose, but to hold up the line.  The powerline itself only serves to route power to outlets.  And then the outlets are useless, unless someone taps into the power.  Power is not forced to people, they must choose to plug into it.  When one line is damaged, the whole street or city is disconnected from the power source.  Someone must maintain the power lines.  If a limb falls on the line, someone must remove it, otherwise there is danger that someone could be hurt or that the line could eventually become damaged. 

I was amazed at the parallel of powerlines to the church.  The church is so similar to a powerline system.  Our purpose is to bring the Power of God to the community.  Of course all we can do is bring the Power, only they can choose to “tap in” to God and allow Him to give them Light.  In the church, each individual has a specific purpose.  Some of us are the poles, others of us are the lines.  Without either, the Power is not transmitted to the community and they live in darkness.  When a storm comes and one of our own is damaged, we should tend to that individual.  Simply ignoring a stray limb could pose a threat to the community and the entire system, itself.  Stray limbs might come from storms, such as past hurts, current family crises, sickness, job loss, or even temptations and sin.  Storms always come.  But, careful pruning and maintainance of the lines lessens the chance that limbs cause damage.  It is not important how it looks or what part is vital, each part is essential and without one the system doesn’t function.   Above all the most essential part of the powerline system is that the people receive the Power

2Corinthians 4:5-7

 5For we do not preach ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. 6For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.  7But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.

 That’s all they need.

We could all take a few lessons, simply by observing power lines….

  1. March 2, 2010 at 5:31 pm

    What an interesting parallel to consider, especially as we are right now looking for a healthy church for our family to grow in. I’ve been reading the book “Franchising McChurch” authored by a friend of ours, and I really resonate with the issues that it draws attention to. So many “power poles” are looking fancy but aren’t lifting Jesus up.

    • Order in the Quart!
      March 2, 2010 at 6:53 pm

      Thanks Darcy, it is very hard to find a healthy church now, in the times we are living. We all should buckle down and examine our lives and study what the Word says the church should be rather than what is trendy or modern or even what is traditional, but hasn’t functioned properly.

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