Power Failure (Twenty-ninth Ordinary)

Jesus told them a story showing that it is necessary for them to pray consistently and never quit. He said, “There was once a judge in some city who never gave God a thought and cared nothing for people. A widow in that city kept after him: ‘My rights are being violated. Protect me!’” (Luke 18: 1 – 3)

A short time after dusk in November of 1965, 10-year-old Jay Hounsell walked home after an afternoon with his friends, making his way through the side streets of Conway, New Hampshire. Wishing nothing else but to pass the time, the boy picked up a stick and began to whack it harmlessly against the trees and mailboxes. With equal lack of concern, he struck the side of a large telephone pole. Just when the stick hit the pole, he noticed the light go out. Looking around, he saw that the lights of the entire neighbourhood had gone out. Panicked, he went home and hid up in his room.

The next morning his mother informed him that power had gone out throughout eight states of the Northeast. Unable to bear his guilt any longer, the boy confessed. He had “caused” the Great Blackout of 1965 with a swing of his stick.

Truth, of course, was that a faulty switch in the power grid was the cause, it just happened to coincide with Jay’s swing. But how clear it seemed to him that his actions carried such great effect. How could doubt the might of his action?

Joshua, Moses, and the people of Israel easily could have believed that it was truly their power that drove back Amalek. But God could not let Moses forget whose power it really was. So, he had Moses demonstrate this fact physically. Every time he brought down his hands, he was reminded of a power much larger than his own.

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