Source of Power: Second Sunday of Advent

On this second Sunday of Advent, we invite you to read this reflection from Ron Block:

I was writing on my laptop, noticed the power getting low, and thought, I’ll get the power cable after I finish this paragraph. I went for what seemed like two minutes, and the screen went black right in the middle of an idea.

In my younger years I thought of faith as something I had to drum up in myself. “You’ve got to have faith.” But as I get older I see the real crux or turning point of faith is simply this: recognition of the source of power.

I got out my power cable and plugged one end into the outlet and the other into my laptop. The green light came on, signifying a connection. The laptop is a receiver of power, not an originator.

In my daily life I am always asking where the power is. When I think the power is in my fleshly effort, I’m trying to plug the laptop into itself and wondering why the power doesn’t come on. I can jump through hoops trying to get it to work, but no matter what I do, power is never going to come that way.

God says the power, wisdom, the understanding, the love, and the truth, are in Christ, and further, that Christ is in me. The power source isn’t me, in my humanity. It is Christ in me, the hope of glory (Col 1:27). The Apostle Paul said that it was by this indwelling power that he labored, and when I looked up the meaning of the Greek words and put it into my own vernacular, I realized he was saying, “…I labor, striving like an Olympic athlete according to God’s energy which energizes me like dynamite” (Col 1:29).

The real center of the Christian life is right there. I can read a thousand books, listen to a hundred sermons, or do fifty good works, but if those things don’t point me to the center and seat of real power and love—God in Christ and Christ in me—then it is all vanity. Jesus said, “You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me, yet you refuse to come to me that you may have life” (John 5:39-40). They refused to recognize God as their source of power and instead wanted the power (and the glory) for themselves.

When I am weak, recognizing I am not the originator of power, then I am strong. I can do all things through Christ, the source of power, who strengthens me, the receiver of power.

- Ron Block

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