The earliest Christians followed a Jewish tradition of pausing to pray, preferably together, first thing in the morning, about mid morning, at noon, about mid afternoon, and in the evening. “Just a Note” posts are brief observations made from Scripture readings not related to a lectionary. If I have one to post, it normally appears about 9:00 in the morning, at “the hour of prayer.”
The book of Acts begins with a bold claim. Jesus, appearing to his disciples, tells them that they will receive the Holy Spirit, who will empower them. They will not be political revolutionaries, which they might like. Rather, in Acts 1:8, they willbe disciples of Jesus and will bear witness to him wherever they go.
Robert Farrar Capon wrote about the power of God. He discussed the nature of power as “right hand” and “left hand” power. In this conception, the way most of us view power is almost exclusively “right hand” power. It is based on the ability to use force. It is based on domination and using our power to force compliance. The “left hand” power is the way God very often works in our world. It is the power of the Jesus who defeats sin by being crushed by it. It is the power of eternal life which is gained through death.
This left handed power is the way we normally bear witness to Jesus. By the power of the Holy Spirit, Christians can show that they depend on God. By the power of the Holy Spirit, Christians can love and serve one another. By the power of the Holy Spirit, the good news of the Gospel goes all around the world. And that news is, itself, a very left-hand power. It says that we do not, will not, can not earn our way to eternal life. Rather, we depend on God’s power to raise us from the dead in the last day. In this manner we become witnesses of Jesus.
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