Our Powerless God (4)

October 21, 1998
by Ken Stright

Luke 23:35 – And the people stood by, watching; but the leaders scoffed at him, saying, "He saved others, let him save himself if he is the Messiah of God, the Chosen One!"

The powerlessness of the manger becomes the powerlessness of the cross and the taunts and jeers of the crowd were correct: "He saved others; he cannot save himself." Indeed he cannot save himself.

    He hangs there, his flesh torn apart by lead-filled whips, his heart broken by the rejection of his friends and abuse from his enemies, his mind tortured by anguish, his spirit shrouded in the darkness of abandonment — total weakness, total powerlessness. That's how God chose to reveal to us the divine love.

      (Nouwen)

Nouwen calls this a Theology of Weakness — not a theology for weaklings or doormats and or those lacking in self-esteem. It is a theology of weakness which has as its only strength the love of God revealed in Jesus Christ our Lord. It rejects the power of the world, the bureaucratic nightmare and political infighting and religious superiority that mark our world, divesting itself of everything except Christ, and him crucified. And so a theology of weakness is actually a theology of divine empowerment, a theology for women and men who claim for themselves the power of love that frees them from fear and enables them to do all things through Christ who strengthens them. Out of his powerlessness Jesus was able to be filled with all the power of God, a power to transform and heal, exorcize devils and bring new life to the downtrodden and dispossessed. And Jesus says greater things will we do because we have believed.

Prayer: God of salvation and crucifixion, in our powerlessness, fill us with divine purpose. In our weakness, fill us with divine love. In our emptiness, fill us with Jesus Christ. Amen.

About the author:

Ken Stright <kennethstright@yahoo.ca>
Sherbrooke, Nova Scotia, Canada

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