Monday, February 17, 2003

Power and Sovereignty

As Christians our ultimate model of power is our God of glory, majesty and sovereignty willingly abrogating that power and becoming “small for us in Christ” – as Martin Luther expressed it: small enough to die. For us. From Christmas and the vulnerability of the manger we go to Good Friday and the vulnerability and absolute defenselessness of the cross. As Christians we confess we find the height of God’s sovereignty in the vulnerability and weakness – in the hiddenness – of a human dying on the scandal of a tree. We discover and recognize the fullness of the Shekinah Glory – the glory of the presence of God – in the weakness of Jesus, “The Human One,” who dies without defense. And that powerlessness proved enough to annihilate the powers and principalities; it was sufficient to effect the death of the old order of death itself; Jesus’ dying on the tree of death that paradoxically becomes the Tree of Life. Our Good Friday / East Sunday proclamation is the end of the supremacy of death and the birth, the ascendancy of the primacy of life – the eschatological reign of the Power of God, most eloquently uncovered and found in the Lordship of Jesus of Nazareth, the crucified and risen One both Human and Divine who shared our common lot and in whose birth, life, death, resurrection and ascension we know and affirm the definitive manifestation of the God beyond time and beyond space. For Paul, the human Jesus becomes the divine Christ at his death and resurrection…and Paul determined “to preach only Christ crucified.”

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