In order to honor the Week of Compassion, Café happened last Tuesday sans electricity. We filled the room with candles, made desserts without using the ovens, and talked without microphones. While it was pretty different than a normal Tuesday night, Café "Unplugged" was a cool way to experience how a lack of electricity can make things more difficult, and it helped give more meaning to the talk which revolved around the idea of being thankful regardless of circumstance.
We read from 1 Thessalonians 5:16-22:
16 Rejoice always, 17 pray continually, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.While the verses in this passage are pretty simple, they carry a pretty significant message. Paul wrote this to the people of Thessalonica after facing some hardships of his own, so the words "rejoice always" come with a deeper meaning - in the good times and the bad, it's always worth celebrating what God is doing in your life.
19 Do not quench the Spirit. 20 Do not treat prophecies with contempt 21 but test them all; hold on to what is good, 22 reject every kind of evil.
What better song to end the night with than Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah", which, when translated, means "praise the Lord". The final verse says "And even though it all went wrong, I'll stand before the Lord of Song, with nothing on my tongue but Hallelujah"... Even in the tough, in the times of struggle, we can hold on to what is good and find those things to be thankful for.