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Theme of the Week: Power at Its Best
Monday, January 6, 2014

Average rating: [ see ratings/comments | 5 Comments ]


Key Bible Verse: Hopes placed in mortals die with them; all the promise of their power comes to nothing. (Proverbs 11:7, NIV)

Dig Deeper: Isaiah 40:6-8

So power, in this broadest sense of making something of the world, is a universal quality of life, from coral reefs to cellists. But only human beings, as far as we can tell, exercise power in the sense [of] not just making stuff but making sense. It is the unique power of human beings to invest our creations with meaning, to interpret the world rather than just blunder through it. As singular as our human power has become to physically reshape the world into gardens and cities, dammed rivers and mushroom clouds, even more singular is our ability to pass on meaning to the next generation, to shape their horizons of possibility with interpretations of not just what the world is but what it is for.

And what is powerlessness? It is being cut off from [this creativity]. The powerlessness of death means that the world may act on us, but we will never again act on it. Such powerlessness, just as much as power, is a fundamental feature of human existence. We began quite unable to make anything of the world, and we will soon be once again at the mercy of others' power to sustain us. And a moment after that, as far as this world is concerned, we will be gone altogether.

—Andy Crouch in Playing God

My Response: How should a healthy and humble understanding of my own mortality impact the way I understand and use the power I have?

Adapted from Playing God by Andy Crouch (IVP, 2013) by permission. All rights reserved by the copyright holder and/or the publisher. May not be reproduced.

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Prayer for the Week
Lord, help me to see the imbalances of power in the world that cause human suffering and pain; show me how to use my power for the good of others.

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Displaying 1–5 of 5 comments

Shawn McGrew

January 06, 2014  7:38am

Mark, I think you hit the nail on the head. Today's lesson took me a little bit to wrap my head around but I finally was able to understand what the author was getting at and it is in line with what you posted.

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Grayson Schwarz

January 06, 2014  7:36am

Selecting a portion of an author's work and printing it as a devotional doesn't make it a devotional.

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Mark Cerretani

January 06, 2014  7:29am

I believe what the author is saying here is that we, as humans, have God-given power to dam rivers, and create nuclear weapons that can destroy the earth. We also have the power to pass onto our children what real power is; loving the world around us. Spreading God's love wherever we go. When we are gone, we will have someone to answer to for eternity, so what good is our fleeting power here on earth? We might as well use our power to create lasting good on this earth. Now and forevermore!

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Charles Burks

January 06, 2014  7:03am

Every morning, I follow both this devotion and that of the US Council of Catholic Bishops. The latter is really just the lectionary with additional commentary. Every once in a while, MOI presents something that speaks to me clearly, powerfully, and directly. On average, though, I get more from the lectionary because there is more to draw from. When I went the Amazon page for to this author's book (as I often do with MOI readings), I was impressed with the extended excert. It just doesn't distill well the the short format used by MOI. Having said that, I will gratefully continue to pay my subscription.

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Doug

January 06, 2014  4:27am

I am a little confused as to what exactly todays reading was getting at. Maybe its a little over my head.

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