St. Andrew's Lutheran Church, Kamloops

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THIS WEEK'S MESSAGE

More Accounts of Strange Things Done in the Land Of The Midnight Sun

December 10, 2017

Jeannie mentioned to me the other day that she's noticed  a tendency of message titles getting longer by the week. I must admit, Robert Service helped me with this one.

The last time I was up here I spoke of an event which happened to me in Inuvik. Do you remember what that was about? I'll give you a hint, the title is "Another Dimension".

After that service someone came up to me and asked if that really happened, since it seemed so difficult to believe. I said “Yes," every detail is as I remember it, and substantiated by others.

So now let me ask you another question.

What do these things have in common?

-Children,

-Drunks,

-Yoga pants.

They always tell the truth.

And so do I when I'm up here giving account of these events, though strange they may seem.

So here goes:

The inverse thing about the Midnight Sun is that it's present only half of the year (sort of like some Canadians). The other half of the year it has gone south for the winter, abandoning those remaining few brave inhabitants to the deep and the dark and the cold. The very deep cold.

Imagine this: It has been dark for about three months. The only light in the sky was from the stars, northern lights, and a few days each month from the moon, but only then if the sky is clear. Otherwise it is pitch-black, all day, all the time. And it's cold. Bitterly cold, which doesn't quite say it properly. Temperatures hover in the minus forties, or minus sixties if you factor in wind-chill. It was dark and it was cold and it was deep, three months deep.

During conditions like this we didn't venture much outside of our homes. Only the necessities of having to go to work, or get food could bring us out. Consequently people were affected by "the long night" as it was so aptly named by the locals.

Some people got depressed, others got sick from being cooped up so long. They caught colds or other forms of illness. I was not exempt.

After a few days off work I needed to justify my absence with a note from a doctor. So I went to see one of the few doctors in town, who also happened to be the minister of the Lutheran church and a friend of mine. He may have actually made a house call, but today I can't remember for sure.

Anyway he diagnosed my illness as being type B influenza and prescribed medication to deal with the symptoms, saying the virus itself can't be treated directly and must run it's course, whichever way it goes. He warned me, saying it cold be quite serious.

I had a high fever, vomiting, diarrhoea, intense headaches, muscle aches, pains throughout every fibre of my body. I couldn't eat any food and could barely hold down even a sip of water. I spent the days or nights between my bed and the toilet.

I was in such pain the weight of only a single sheet was too much. Sleep came in fits and spurts. I couldn't tolerate light since it sent blinding shocks through my eyes, like daggers of icicles. I was hot to the touch but drenched in sweat. My my mouth had died up and my tongue felt swollen.

So the doctor prescribed more and stronger medication of all sorts but that din't make much difference, I just got worse.

After about a week of this I had enough. It felt like I was going to die and I resigned myself to do so. I stopped taking all medication entirely. I endured the pain and waited for the end.

Gradually as the medication started to wear off I became acutely conscious of my surroundings. The little smells and sounds of the house had by now taken on a presence of their own. From the confines of my bed I could perceive other people in the house, where they were and to a fair degree, what they were doing. My own pain intensified but I was able to move away from it in a way, detaching myself from it somehow with the conviction that I wasn't going to be around much longer anyway.

Then it happened. Then it happened, suddenly.

Out of the upper left-hand corner of my room, seemingly from a dimension between the molecules of air, they emerged.

Even though the room was dark, I could make them out clearly, as if they had brought their own light with them. But it wasn't a harsh light, more like a gentle glow from within.

There were four of them, all of the same kind of being. The tallest was about 7ft tall, with it's head close to the ceiling. The shortest stood about 4 or 5 ft, somewhat taller than the footboard of my bed. The other two, in-between somewhere.

They were each a different colour, a pastel of sorts. The tall one a light blueish-grey, another a light tan, the third a creamy white and the short one a light brown. Even in the low light, I could tell their skin was soft and velvety. It seemed warm to the touch. A little wrinkly, as if it was a size too large.

Briefly they stood there, at the foot of my bed, swaying gently back and forth and looking at me. Then, as if responding to some external cue, the tallest one started to sing.

It wasn't a voice I'd heard before, certainly not from a human. The tonal range easily spanned many octaves, five or six, and timbre could be adjusted at will. Slowly and quietly at first the others joined in. Sometimes in harmony, or in melody or counterpoint and each readily switching back and forth.

When the short one gave a solo it was even more astounding, since he could harmonize with himself. I surmised he must have more than one set of vocal chords to be able to do so. The other three probably had this ability also, but didn't show it as much.

About half way through this I could tell someone was coming up the stairs to check on me. I called out for them to stop, to not enter the room for fear of chasing away my heavenly visitors.

Now, I can't be sure how long these four stayed with me but I do remember the feeling of total peace that came over me, and I really welcomed that. So I just settled back and listened.

I must have fallen asleep during the time while they were still there but I don't remember doing so. After a long while I awoke refreshed and really hungry but still a little light headed.

Later when I told my wife about this and she replied: "Oh, I was wondering what that was all about, why you didn’t want me to come into the room. I could't figure out what you were saying, something about not scaring them away, which made no sense at all but I left you alone anyway."

A few days later I was back on my feet.

---

In hindsight some people could say what I experienced was delirium. They could pass off my visitors as hallucinations caused by high fever. But to me that's not the case. I suppose if I would have had the strength at the time I could have actually reached out and touched them.

And this experience affected me in an absolutely profoundly and real  way. With their singing alone they had pulled me from the edge of darkness and despair, back to to be among the living. That is real.

So here I need to take an aside. It is important to mention that this is a unique experience, specific to me and my need at the time. Please don't read anything more into it. Just as each person was created uniquely, so their relationship with God is unique and specific to that individual. One should never ask God why he interacts with one person one way and so differently with another. Never ask why he allows some to suffer tremendously, and intervenes with others.

Going on; I would even hypothesize that only in modern times activity such as this has been discounted, confined to the realm of “the supernatural" or "parapsychology" and disbelief. Limiting our perception of the universe to only the five physical senses common to people prevents us from fully discovering God’s creation.
 
Most certainly experiences similar to this are not unique. Holy Scripture often mentions heavenly beings, sometimes nonchalantly or matter of factly, as if describing the wind or motions of the sea or other natural phenomena.

Angels are mentioned in the bible nearly 300 times. (The word angel simply means "messenger"). Other times heavenly beings are called "cherubim" or "seraphim" or sometimes "sons of god" or even simply "heavenly host".

I don't think there is any book of the Bible where some form of heavenly being is not either expressly mentioned, or implied. They are present and threaded throughout all of recorded human history.

My understanding is they are part of the universe and always have been.

The Psalmist describes people as being made "a little lower than the angels";

what is mankind that you are mindful of them,

    human beings that you care for them?
You have made them a little lower than the angels

    and crowned them with glory and honour. (Psalm 8:4,5)


-which defines their place in creation, and ours.

When I was researching heavenly beings for this presentation I came across what one author calls 35 fascinating facts about angels. I'm not going to list them all but here are six of the ones I found most intriguing:

1, Created by God
2, Present at the creation of the world,
3, Eternal (live forever),
4, Have a will of their own,
5, Come in many shapes and sizes,
6, Have an interest in the affairs of people.

Now, there is one event about angels which I find extra special, which strikes me close to home since it has similarities to my experience. It is described by this very short passage in Mathew. See if you recognize the setting:

Then the devil left him, and angels came and attended him.
(Mathew 4:11)

That one day in Inuvik while being so sick, thinking that it was the end of me, four angels descended to minister to me. They gave me peace, comfort, and helped in my healing and recovery.

That was my experience.

Be blessed as you ponder all this.

Amen

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http://www.standrewslutheran.ca

  

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