With this power. . .

I’m pissed off about the impotence of today’s Christian culture.

We’re a powerless lot, with no agenda beyond that of finding fault in everything our society is doing.

But we’ve been given so much more.

Uncle Ben said it best: “With great power comes great responsibility.”

We’ve been given an enormous amount of power with which we’ve been charged to change the world. Christ left us this promise:

“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

But what exactly is this power?

Christ did all kinds of powerful things while he was on earth. He healed the sick, he raised the dead, he multiplied food. But all of these acts were but a reflection of the immensely powerful act he would perform at the end of his life.

He would put an end to death.

And that power resides within us.

And with that power comes a charge: to unite the world and reconcile everything back to God.

But now in Christ Jesus you who were once far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For he is our peace; in his flesh he has made both groups into one and has broken down the dividing wall, that is, the hostility between us. He has abolished the law with its commandments and ordinances, that he might create in himself one new humanity in place of the two, thus making peace, and might reconcile both groups to God in one body through the cross, thus putting to death that hostility through it.
~Ephesians 2.13-16

It’s somewhat depressing to see that Christians don’t take this charge seriously. But what depresses me even more is seeing Christians who think they’re taking it seriously, but are doing more harm than good, and are actually doing everything they can to turn people away. If something isn’t working, get rid of it! It’s not bad to look at numbers; numbers can be a good way to judge whether your work is effective. If it’s not, try something new. This calling is too important to be wasted on clinging to tradition or what worked twenty years ago.

God calls us to something much bigger than ourselves. He wants to use us as vehicles for his message to the world.

If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us.
2 Corinthians 5.17-20

Yes, it’s thrilling to think that “the same power that conquered the grave lives in me,” but if that power isn’t doing anything through us, maybe it’s time to take a long, hard look at ourselves and reevaluate what we’re doing with that power.

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