Power in a Stable

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How do you deal with corruptions of power? How do you fix problems? Naturally, our instinct is that corrupt power and big problems must be overcome by greater power. Personally, I don’t like to rest until everything is done, but it feels like there is always more to do and my power is insufficient to our challenges! If the answer to our problems is our power, then we may be in big trouble. Is there another way forward? Advent tells of a better way.

Advent reminds us of the power of a Savior born in a stable. Strength is found in weakness, promotion through service, and abundant life through laying down our lives. I felt this reality yesterday as I mediated on Psalm 32. These verses were a tonic to my weary soul. Rest comes not because all of my problems have been solved but because the Lord is “a hiding place for me” who preserves “me from trouble” (Ps. 32:7). As my soul finds its rest and hiding place in Him, the Lord promises,“I will instruct you and teach you the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you” (Ps. 32:8). Our job is to find rest in Him through prayer; His promise is to instruct us in the way that we should go.

This is also true for us as a church. So many times I have wished for a roadmap to dictate each step, but I feel more like we are listening to GPS prompts from the Spirit. Though we may be like a freight train lumbering down the tracks with strength and speed, we know that the Lord is laying the tracks ahead of us as He instructs us in the way that we should go. We don’t have to figure everything out A–Z, but we must be faithful with each step. As we look back, the Lord has led us so clearly. We had no idea when we decided to merge that our nation’s division would become so starkly highlighted. Yet this division can be healed by the unity of the church, so we must continue the messy yet mundane work in developing a Trinitarian unity without uniformity (John 17:21). The kaleidoscope of gifts, genders, ethnicities, generations and backgrounds swirl together as we listen and follow Him step by step. May we keep in step with one another through His Spirit who “will instruct you and teach you the way you should go” (Ps. 32:8).

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