We have been given substantive examples of living with authority, walking with authority, acting with authority in the last few days of our readings in the Daily Office. Yesterday, Jesus, with "authority and power" expelled and silenced a demon in Capernaum. Today he entered Simon's house and cures Simon's mother as well as multitudes of people who appear at Simon's door.
We have been reading the story of Daniel in our Hebrew Testament reading for the last two weeks. Daniel is an example of someone speaking with, walking with, acting with authority. Living under the authority of God, surrendering to that authority, and in turn having the courage, strength, fortitude to live that authority out loud.
At the end of today's reading from Luke, the people of Capernaum try to prevent Jesus from leaving their town. They wanted more of that authority in which they could bask. Jesus says no, that he must continue to spread the word, showcase his authority, in the very heart of the authority-structure in which he was operating.
Both Daniel and Jesus are speaking truth to the power brokers they were presented with in life, making almost everyone uncomfortable. All of us, who are part of living out being the Body of Christ in the world today, are called to do the same. We are called to follow Jesus' lead, to mimic the model the story of Daniel provides for us....to accept the authority that God has for and over us, and in turn find that well of fortitude that resides in all of us, to live with our own authority, to speak truth to whatever power-structure we find ourselves encountering, no matter how awkward or uncomfortable those encounters can make us feel. We are never alone in those truth-telling sessions, the risen Christ is with us, helping us plant the seeds for the furtherance of the Kingdom's growth.
Copyright 2011, The Rev. John F. Dwyer. All Rights Reserved
Photo: Window in St. Luke in the Fields, NYC.