Once upon a time, you had to wait an entire week, or longer, to see the next episode of your favorite television show. Back in 1980, fans of the hit series, “Dallas,” had to endure an extended delay to find out who shot J.R. because of the writer’s strike. When the program finally aired months later, it drew one of the largest audiences of all time.
These days there is no waiting. People can stream and binge all they want, while trying not to give away any details to someone who has not yet seen a particular episode. We call that a “Spoiler Alert.”
In the church, we have something that sounds similar, but is actually quite different. I call it a “Boiler Alert.” In just about every church I ever attended, there has, at one time or another, been a problem with the boiler. Most recently, here at Oak Chapel, we were flagged for some sort of “violation.” Who knew that a church could get in trouble because of its boiler.
My limited experience with boilers tells me that they rarely work properly. In fact, I have this theory that they are manufactured to malfunction on a regular basis, just to aggravate the Trustees and to chill out the congregation when the temperatures begin to dip.
So bear with me as I make this giant leap: We are a lot like a boiler — imperfect, inconsistent, subject to breakdown, and often unable to carry out our function. Fortunately, we have people like Blair and some of our other Trustees to repair the boiler at Oak Chapel.
Likewise, our Lord sees pasts our shortcomings, forgives our transgressions, heals our frailties, and puts us back on the pathway of righteousness, while also “alerting” us to be on the lookout for potential pitfalls that threaten to push us off course and possibly cause us to break down.
So, don’t be caught off guard! You have now officially been “alerted!