Power vs. Power

SnowIt is Saturday night. It is quiet outside now. Today, January 23rd, we had one of the largest blizzards hit Carlisle. The official figures are not yet in – but it looks like 24 to 30 inches of snow fell during the last 24 hours. And it has brought everything to a halt. Services are cancelled for tomorrow. Actually everything is cancelled for tomorrow. The only vehicles on the roads are snowplows, and even some of them are stuck in the snow.

There was power in this storm. Not only in the high winds and the amount of snow but also in the power of the snow to halt all other actions. It is blanketing. It is stilling. It pauses all the other powers that might move or act or do just about anything but huddle down and take a break.Explosion

It got me thinking about power. We live in the most powerful country in the world. I’ve been listening to claims that we are a Christian nation and claims about what we should do with all that power as a Christian nation. Statements about carpet bombing. Declarations that people who are not like us are evil or terrorists. Some of these statements seem to come from a misunderstanding of power. Some of them come from fear.

And I go back to the stories in the Bible that speak about power. The story about Joseph – abused and enslaved by his jealous brothers – who showed mercy to them when they were in need. The story of the Good Samaritan – the foreigner – the dispised one – who showed mercy to one in need. And of course the story of Jesus on the cross who showed mercy to his executioners with the words, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.”

So Hugwhat is the ultimate expression of power for Christians? It means using our power to feed the hungry and cloth the naked – just as Jesus did (and calls us to do). It means usuing our power to welcome the stranger and the foreigner – just as Jesus did. It means caring for every person who is less fortunate than we are – just as Jesus did.

This is not brain surgery, folks. It’s basic Christianity.

And to quote Stephen Colbert, “If this is going to be a Christian nation that doesn’t help the poor, either we have to pretend that Jesus was just as selfish as we are, or we’ve got to acknowledge that He commanded us to love the poor and serve the needy without condition and then admit that we just don’t want to do it.”

I’ve got a better idea. Let’s just do it!

In Christ’s Name,

Pastor Rob Moore

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