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Power Over Death

There are people who have extreme power in this world. People like Putin, Hitler, and Napoleon are people who create death and destruction in millions of other lives with their insatiable need for more and more power.

What kind of power is that?! It is the power that steals, kills, and destroys (Bible). A Queen song drifts through my mind as I sit here contemplating this: "I want it all, I want it all, I want it all,---and I want it now!" and what the rock song didn't add was "and I don't care what it costs you for me to get it."

Unfortunately, that is the type of power most of us are familiar with. But is there another kind of power?

I would say yes. I am beginning to understand the power that "restores" lives.

We talk about Jesus having power over death. Sometimes we say we as humans "defy" death, or have "escaped" death, or even "come back" from a near death experience.... but I've not met nor have I heard of someone who had a funeral, got buried, and then was back eating and drinking and walking around with a few extra superpowers just a few days later. But we claim that about Jesus.

That's power.

Thank God most of us don't live out a quest for power to the extent of Putin or Hitler, but most of us probably feel we "just want what is due us" (Queen again). And feel like we are somehow entitled to it. This year's Lenten season has been a time for me to consider how my life has been lived in a quest for personal power and privilege, as I have mentally walked alongside Jesus in the last days of his life. I have spent more time than ever this year contemplating what the power over death looks like, feels like, and sounds like.

This has been one of the most beautiful 40 day Lenten journeys I have ever experienced. I am not exactly sure why. Maybe it is the new friends, or renewed relationships with old friends? or the excitement of the fasting😳, prayer, and worship? It might be the way my heart is seeking new places for personal growth. Or perhaps it is the realization that the power to reject oppressive power, anger, hatred, jealousy and judgment are truly in my grasp. I realize in a new way that I am being offered the opportunity to allow this "different" kind of power to flow through all areas of my life.

What is this power? It is the "resurrection power of God" that only comes through unconditional, self giving love.

The power of Love. Not "what is due me" love, or "what I can get out of you" love, but giving others the importance and grace I give myself. (I'd like to write "unconditionally" somewhere in that sentence, but I'm not there yet.)

We celebrate Easter on April 9th this year (2023), and this "resurrection power of Love" is what we are celebrating. The love of God that overcame death, and not just death for Jesus, but death for you and me and everyone else we know and love. Resurrection power = power over death.

So stack that up and see if you can figure out which is more powerful. The power to "steal, kill and destroy" or the power to "give life, heal and restore?"

How is it going to look in our lives if we really believe in and seek God's resurrection power for ourselves and our world?

Peace be with you.


PS. Haha. Random thought: At this stage in my faith journey, I am so in awe of the Giver of Life that I can't even kill stink bugs anymore (even though I really, really don't like them). So what do you think that means?

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