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Monday, November 12, 2012

A Brief History of Power and the Powerless

“Jesus, being in very form of God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped at for his own advantage; rather, he emptied himself by becoming a servant, being made in human likeness.  And being found as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death — even death on a cross!

“Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” Philippians 2:6-11

Wealth is all about power isn’t it?  “The person with the most toys wins”, we often say!  Wealth is about someone winning and someone losing.  Wealth and poverty is also a story about power and the powerless.  Scripture often groups together widows and orphans as images of the poor and powerless.  Society more often than not is unwilling to protect them from exploitation and starvation.

The Apostle states in Philippians that Jesus, taking on flesh chose radical human powerlessness; poverty from the manger to the tomb, in order to defeat the powers of sin and death.  He delivers us all from the profound dearth of our helplessness in the face of these “powers." 

Overall, the Bible is a most extraordinary text because again and again it exalts not the powerful, but invariably the powerless — from Abraham to Moses to Jeremiah to Job to John the Baptist to Jesus.  God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.  God humbles, only to exalt.

After a while we might get tired of the rejected one, the younger son, the barren woman, the sinner and the outsider becoming the chosen one of God.  It is God’s little way, a biblical pattern — which some may prefer not to see.

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