A Refreshing Change
When our current church was built in the late 1960s, I have to believe that the Trustees discussed the possibility of air conditioning, but they probably nixed the idea because of cost. Air conditioning was more of a luxury than a necessity back then.
A lot has changed in 50 years, and air conditioning is no longer considered a luxury. Most people expect that a building (even a church) will be air conditioned these days. In fact, two area churches, both of which are much older than ours (New Pittsburg just down the road, and East Greenville, just outside of Dalton where I served in 2018-2019) have air conditioning and have had for some time. It only made sense for Oak Chapel to eventually follow suit, and we will with the hopes of having a system in place before the end of the summer.
We recently received two very generous estate gifts that will cover a significant portion of the cost. In addition, we have a connection to the company that will install the system, so we are getting a very favorable rate from them.
Finally, it just makes sense, not only for worship services in the summer, but also for weddings and celebration-of-life services as well as meetings, conferences, Vacation Bible School, and other events that typically take place when it’s hot outside.
Air conditioning will be a refreshing change in our sanctuary, but there is a much more important type of refreshment — that of the soul, which can take place every Sunday (and every day for that matter), regardless of the temperature inside or outside.
The Bible is filled with references to spiritual refreshment. Our creator knew that we would need to be refreshed physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually throughout our lives. A refreshed soul is a hearty soul, strengthened and empowered to do the work of the Lord, but a tired soul quickly grows weary and is less likely to carry out God’s work on earth.
As we know, Psalm 23 brings great comfort with these words in the first four verses of the passage: “The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake. Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.”
Romans 15:13 also offers this uplifting advice: “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”
And Psalm 16:8-11 gives further encouragement with these words, “I have set the Lord always before me; because he is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken. Therefore my heart is glad, and my whole being rejoices; my flesh also dwells secure…You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.”
God is with us always, and in that we can take great comfort and refreshment,
with or without air conditioning.
Until We Meet Again, Be Blessed! – Pastor John