Thursday, March 31, 2016

empty-tomb power

i've been reflecting on the power of God.  as i have been trying to wrap my head around the size and scope and greatness of God, not so that i can fully understand God (i can't) but so i can better praise God, i have been filled with wonder.  God is full of majesty, surrounded by victory; robed in greatness, enshrined in glory.  God is rich in jaw-dropping, breath-taking awesomeness.  God's everything-ness is incredible.

1 chronicles 29:11 says: Yours, O Lord, is the greatness, the power, the glory, the victory, and the majesty. Everything in the heavens and on earth is yours, O Lord, and this is your kingdom. We adore you as the one who is over all things.

God is a creative genius, a master builder, an exquisite artisan, an impeccable composer.  

the whole world of sound; the circuits of the planets; the spectrum of colors; the symphony of music; the variety of creatures: all of these bear witness to God's imagination, skill, creativity, and power. wow. 

and then there is Jesus - the epicenter of God's power.  he bore all the gifts of live, as all humans so, and suffered the most severe kind of death.  and then, as the paramount witness of God's power, he lived again, demonstrating God's dominance over every force that comes again love: evil, disease, tragedy, sickness, brokenness, sin and death.  yes, even death.  for God's is the power and glory forever. 

but wait, there's more!

that power isn't just God's.  it's ours, too.  check out ephesians 1:19-20:   I also pray that you will understand the incredible greatness of God’s power for us who believe him. This is the same mighty power that raised Christ from the dead and seated him in the place of honor at God’s right hand in the heavenly realms.

did you catch that?  the same power that lifted the lifeless body of Jesus and breathed new life into it, forever winning the victory over death and ripping the sorry stinger out of the grave is in us who believe! i have to be honest that i have trouble comprehending this.  i have trouble resisting the leftover easter candy in the cupboard.  i don't have the power to deal with my children's whining after a long day.  i don't have the power to get out of bed when the alarm rings without pressing the snooze button 3 times first.  how can the power that raised Jesus from the dead be in me, also?  are you kidding?  

and then i remember...the power that raised Jesus from the dead is none other than love.  love is the power.  the power in me is love.  that is the power we've been given.  it is the power to love God with our whole selves and to love our neighbors as ourselves.  that's the real power.  it isn't weightlifting or superhuman will power.  it isn't mind powers or muscle powers.  it is love power.  the same love that compelled Jesus to the cross, and that was strong enough to defeat death itself is also in us.  

so what are we doing with it?  we have the latent ability to love deeply and wildly and passionately.  we have the power to love without abandon, to love creatively with richness and energy.  we have the power to love with our deepest everything, with the very image of God in which we were created.  the power of the empty tomb - the greatest victory of life over death - is our power, too.  what will we do with it?  sit on it?  ignore it?  pretend it isn't there? deny it? or exercise it?  

i want to love with empty-tomb-love!  i want to exercise the power in me! i want to spend the rest of my life alive! i want to get busy loving!

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