Luke 9:23 “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must give up your own way, take up your cross daily, and follow me.”
Shiela Cassidy speaks of the Call to Powerlessness; she says - “Of all the uncomfortable, upsetting gospel texts, this must surely be amongst the most unnerving. What on earth, I wonder, did the disciples make of it, coming as it did immediately after the first time that Jesus broke it to them that his‘ ministry would inevitably end in his death? And when, I wonder, did it first dawn on Jesus that he was running head long into trouble?”
“There is something Very dramatic and puff? about the missionary call but I am quite clear that it is not only the missionaries who are called to powerlessness. There’s a very real sense in which we are all, sooner or later, required to let go of the strings with which we manipulate our lives and be led, as Jesus put it, ‘where we would rather not go’. For some, however, this call to let go comes much earlier than they expect and is therefore especially bitter.”
This humble thing, humility,
This depth of life’s fragility,
Has in it’s span a strength so rare,
Beyond the image of self-care.
It plumbs the depth of others needs
To rise above the powerful’s greed,
And there it’s voice, though small, does call
To meet in meekness - all in all.
You left your heavenly kingly realm
To walk beside those overwhelmed.
To desolation, even death
And on cruel cross to gasp last breath.
You stooped on bended knee to cleanse
Disciples feet as servant-friend,
And taught the pow’r of selflessness;
The glory of unfailing grace.
Such powerlessness is still the task
Where faith’s outworking is unmasked
To find in human sacred form
A depth of love each heart to warm.
O Lord, your selfless gift I claim
And in such weakness find love’s aim.
May I in humble depths now find
Your glorious power redefined.
© 2022 Paul Collings
God of all time,
God of this time,
these times are difficult, and we bring them to you.
There have been other times like this when countries have invaded others.
You show us countries seized a village or settlement at a time and countries facing full invasion.
You reveal, when we dare to look, how national boundaries have changed like waves on the sand.
We feel so powerless; it all is so human and so tragic.
We bring it all to you in our confusion and worry.
Remind us, as ever, that worry is not what we must carry.
Remind us that worry makes us smaller, makes our powerlessness real.
Fill the place that worry has taken in our hearts and replace it with hope.
Give us courage to read the news as we can, to listen, to watch, to understand.
As we face the reality of these times, we pray for your hope to carry and fill us.
Let hope be the insight which we gift to each other.
Fill us with your knowledge that hope is as real an act as giving our money and our welcome.
You will bring peace, as ever you do.
Give us courage to gift your hope to that process.
In the name of your incarnated Christ and in the power and presence of Holy Spirit,
By the Revd Elizabeth Gray King, pastor in the URC North Western Synod