Power? I don’t have any power?
I was shaking my head at Henri Nouwen’s reading for today, wondering if Christian leaders really do have power and misuse it. I guess historically maybe they have, and examples cited do show an arrogance and wrong use of control and influence. But what has that got to do with me today on my Advent journey?
And then I got to the last paragraph,
Maybe that power offers an easy substitute for the hard task of love. It seems easier to be God, than love God, easier to control people than love people…
Wow! OK, now that makes it personal. That needs some thinking through.
The power, as we remind ourselves every time we say The Lord’s Prayer, is God’s and God’s alone. We should be looking, not for his power, not to control others, but to love and care. In controlling others we might miss so much that they have to share.
4 Care about them as much as you care about yourselves 5 and think the same way that Christ Jesus thought:
6 Christ was truly God.
But he did not try to remain
equal with God.
7 Instead he gave up everything
and became a slave,
when he became
like one of us.
8 Christ was humble.
He obeyed God
and even died
on a cross.
For God power is not about bully boy tactics, not about control – but about humility, serving and sacrifice.
If we are trying to control things and people, perhaps we have to ask ourselves, why? What is in me that I need to boss and manipulate?
And do I really have to give up expecting others to drive as I wish?!?
you know how much I like to control things,
as I come before you today,
I pray that you will free me from that,
allow me to accept,
allow me to receive.
May I live
in and through your love.
This year for Advent, some friends and I are using Advent and Christmas Wisdom from Henri J. M. Nouwen. You’re welcome to join us on this journey. Feel free to comment here, or on Twitter using #adventbookclub
Also blogging on the #adventbookclub are: