Friday, August 17, 2007

The power of powerlessness

Powerless powerLuke’s account of the crucifixion [in Luke chapter 23] particularly contrasts the powerlessness of Christ (in worldly terms) with His total authority (in spiritual terms).

Bound, He is bundled from one worldly power to another: high priest, (religious power), Pilate, Herod, Pilate again (rival political powers), and finally to the soldiers (brute force). He is mocked, rejected and crucified, yet remains ‘in charge’ at all times.

With complete courage He tells the high priest the devastating truth: 'this is your hour – when darkness reigns' [22:53]; Pilate is confounded, unable to find a charge against His obvious purity [v.4]; Herod, desperate for some entertainment in his bored worldly life, cannot get a single word out of Him [v.8-9]; on His way to die, Jesus speaks the terrible truth of judgement to the women of Jerusalem [v.27-31]; as the nails are hammered in He prays Father forgive [v.34]; He speaks to the repentant thief as the king that He is [v.42-43]; finally, as the temple curtain is torn in two, He chooses to die, committing His spirit to the Father He had obeyed so unswervingly [v.45-46]. This is true authority which rules in the midst of enemies [Ps.110: 2]. It exposes all worldly power as the sham it is – this is the true authority of love, and of God.

I want us, as a community, as a church, to move in the same authority which is pure, selfless love. The more we divest ourselves of outward power, the more we gain inward authority.

Not that being powerless is having no voice, no influence. Rather that, letting go of the wrong sort of power and influence - the self-protecting, the manipulative, the paranoid and the false - and committing ourselves to the Father, we can have true power. Power not for self - but for Love.

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