Imagine four persons in a room. The first is a powerful dictator who rules a country. He commands armies, directs the lives of millions, and his wishes become law and are enforced. He possesses a brutal power. Next to him sits a gifted athlete at the pinnacle of his physical prowess. This is one whose speed, strength, and endurance have few equals. His is a graceful power for which he is much admired and envied. The third person is a rock star whose music and charisma electrify sold out arenas. Her words can become the anthem for a generation. Her power is a soulfulness of the muse. The fourth person in the room is a newborn, a baby, lying in its crib, unable to clearly ask for what it needs.
The irony is that the baby ultimately wields the greatest power. The infant can touch hearts in a way that a dictator, an athlete, or a rock star cannot. Its innocent, wordless presence, without physical strength, can transform a room and a heart in a way that worldly powers cannot. The powerlessness of a baby touches us at a deeper moral place. It is as though a baby has the power to do an exorcism. It can cast out the demons of self-absorption and selfishness in us.
And so it is with the true power of God. Even though at times we want God the dictator who will right wrongs and establish justice by showing some raw muscle power and banging some heads here and now, such is not the true power of God. The true power of God, in the person of His Son, Jesus, was born as a baby, lived a life apart from worldly power, and he died hanging helplessly on a cross with bystanders mocking his powerlessness. Yet both his birth and his death manifest the kind of power upon which we can ultimately build our lives. The powerlessness of Christ touches us at a deeper moral place. It has the power to cast out our worst demons.
Worldly power imposes. Divine power proposes. It is the proposal of the helpless child, arms raised upward, inviting you to embrace the innocence and love. Christ, as the Southern author Annie Dillard says, is always found in our lives just as he was originally found, a helpless baby in the straw who must be picked up and nurtured into maturity.
Such is the power of Christ the King.
May the power of Christ the King be with you and your family during the Thanksgiving Holiday.