I’ve been watching a series about King Louis XIV, the builder of the great palace of Versailles. As the story unfolds, filled with numerous tawdry escapades of many in his court, the expression of power becomes the energy that fuels this king with absolute power. Beware of any human being that has power, but what do you do with someone, a king, perhaps, or the pope, who has absolute power absolutely???
You tread with caution and conscience. King Louis demanded absolute loyalty and believed himself chosen by God to think for his people. The King was the mouthpiece of God and God forbid you challenge his decisions and power. Louis used power to coerce, dominate, control and manipúlate his subjects. And he was very jealous of his power, which focused on HIS glory.
The disciples are returning home from a missionary journey that Jesus sent them on. He sent them with the POWER to cast out demons and heal. They returned joyfully because this power allowed them to do what Jesus asked: to confront evil and to heal. The amazing part of this episode is Jesus SHARING his power with the disciples and sending them out by themselves. No clinging, just EMPOWERING.
No human being should have such absolute authority that is focused on their position of power. We are all given power to go into the world as disciples, and show forth God’s glory by trying to make the world a better and more just world. Power comes from words and actions that confront evil ideologies, bring people together in times of crisis, comfort people who are sick and lonely. Power can unite or divide, depending on its SOURCE. If the source of power comes solely from ourselves, violence and injustice always follow. But if the power originates from God, unity, respect, and humility follow.
This POWER we have originates from Christ and celebrated in BAPTISM!!! Yes, baptism gives us a power that is not ours to be had but to be shared for higher purposes. How many of us Christians even realize that this power has been given to us by Christ, himself? If you don't know you have it, you rely on religious types, people who have power, to do the work of the gospel. You will never know true joy, the joy that filled the disciples, if you don’t realize this inner power of Spirit in your heart...waiting to be expressed. By you!!!