Year B, Pentecost 5
Shortly after college, I served as youth minister in a small Methodist Church in the middle of Pennsylvania. It was the beginning of what would be a very short long distance relationship. It was clear to me in my first few weeks in this town that my relationship from college was not going to work out. But I refused to accept it. I had a key to the church and was living right next door in the old rectory. One night I went over and decided to pray about it. I asked God if this relationship was worth saving. I asked God to give me a sign that this was going to work out. I begged. I pleaded. I cried. Suddenly, there was a clap of thunder. I thought, well that could really go either way. Maybe God was really in favor of this doomed relationship. I asked God for another sign as that one was unclear. There was another clap of thunder and bolt of lightning and the lights in the sanctuary were extinguished. All I could see was the rain pelting the stained glass image of Jesus praying in the garden of Gethsemane. If you ask God a question, you should be prepared for an answer you might not want. I was not prepared. I sat in the dark wondering how I could spin this one. I was reminded that Jesus said that we should not ask for signs and this was a reminder of that. I left the dark church and returned home to plot the way that I would save this relationship.