Saturday was hot. We were fortunate enough to spend the day in some friends’ pool. After a family barbeque we came home a little before 7:00. Admiral’s Cove was dark. And so it remained the rest of the night, and all of Sunday, and all of Monday, and all the way to mid-afternoon Tuesday.
We were fortunate. Matt and Rachel had some extra space in their freezer, and a generator for us to borrow. Also, the weather turned to a very comfortable temperature on Saturday night – remaining that way through Wednesday. I am sure that many others had things much more difficult than we did.
Joel referred to our time without electricity as an “adventure,” however, when Monday evening came, he and Monica bailed on me. By the next morning I understood why – taking an ice-cold shower in the dark Tuesday morning severely challenged my thoughts of this being “fun” (which is a word I generally associate with the term “adventure”).
Still, an adventure it was, and we were hardly powerless! The generator provided sufficient power to keep our refrigerator cold. We were able to drive our vehicles like normal. I never lost the power in my limbs or brain (no comment here, please). And the entire time DTE was working diligently – though we could not see them and their communications were often confusing – to restore our power.
Powerless is what we are without Christ. “You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5.6-8) Some translations refer to us as being “helpless,” others say “weak”. The wording matters not. Three things are crystal clear: 1) we cannot save ourselves; 2) our salvation comes through Christ’s power-filled act of dying on the cross; 3) this salvation he delivered to earth personally at just the right time.
And that is not the end of the story. After Jesus rose from the dead he told his disciples, “I am sending the promise of my Father upon you. Stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high.” (Luke 24.49) That very power – the power of the Holy Spirit – enters us on the day of our baptism, and continues to grow as we are fed by God’s Word and Sacrament. It is the power to believe … the power to love … the power to serve … the power to sacrifice.
It all is in fulfillment of Jesus’ powerful promise, “I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you … In that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you … If anyone loves me, he will keep my word and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him … The Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you. Peace I leave with you … Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.” (John 14.18-27)
This is the power that we all are given in our baptism. It is all the power we need for the wondrous (hear the word “fun”) adventure of life with Jesus. It is the power that, for some reason or another, has given me today a much greater appreciation for the words of Isaiah 9 quoted by Matthew: “The people dwelling in darkness have seen a great light.” (Matthew 4.16) My friends, enjoy the adventure … and know that with Christ you are never powerless.