THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK
This week we are challenged to revisit our understanding of power and authority. In the Old Testament you may read the well-known story of David slaying the giant Goliath, and in the Gospel this week you may have encountered Jesus calming the storm. Both appear to be stories of God’s power over people and over nature. The picture seems to be one of dominance, might and conquest. But then, in the Epistle reading (2 Corinthians 6:1-13) Paul speaks about the authority of his ministry coming from his service of, and sacrifice for, the new believers. This gives a window into what the Scriptures mean by God’s power or God’s authority. Notice, then, how both Jesus’ miracle and David’s victory were done in service of others and sought to bring others into a deeper submission to God’s purpose and values.
When we reflect on these thoughts carefully, we cannot help but recognise that authority, for Jesus, works differently than we would usually expect. In the realm of God’s Reign true authority is the authority to serve, to lay down one’s life, to sacrifice, and to liberate. It is the authority of faith and relationships, of humility and love, rather than the authority of might and dominance. David offered himself on behalf of his people and his God to fight a battle that he shouldn’t have been able to win. He went out on to the battlefield as a servant. Jesus calmed the storm as an act of grace and compassion for his frightened disciples and then called them to deeper faith. He acted, in the boat, as a servant.
This week, we will learn what it means to live under God’s authority and to live with authority in Christ’s name.
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