Our Powerless God (3)

October 20, 1998

Philippians 2:5-7 – Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God as something to be exploited, but emptied himself.

Today, I would like to share a few words from Henry Nouwen:

    It is through total and unmitigated powerlessness that God shows us divine mercy. The radical, divine choice is the choice to reveal glory, beauty, truth, peace, joy, and, most of all, love in and through the complete divestment of power.

Here is the true story of the One who did not think of equality with God as a thing to be exploited (that's a power word, by the way) but emptied himself (allowed himself to be powerless), taking the form of a slave (that's a powerless word, by the way), he humbled himself (gave up power) and became obedient (gave in to power) to the point of death — even death on a cross (the ultimate expression of powerlessness the world has ever witnessed!).

And then comes the transformation.

Now he is exalted (filled with power) and given a name (a sign of power) and it is the name above every name (signifying that all power in heaven and on earth is his!) and now, at the name of Jesus, every knee should bend (submitting to this person of absolute power) and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord. The powerless Christ becomes the only name by which we might receive salvation.

And the paradox is complete as the divine Master of heaven and earth cannot claim the love of one solitary soul unless that soul freely and gladly responds in love.

Prayer: God of all power and glory: help us to find our strength and power in the love and grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, in whose name we pray. Amen.

About the author:

Kenn Stright <kennethstright@yahoo.ca>
West Petpeswick, Nova Scotia, Canada

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