Appropriately, we continue to read from the great foreteller of the Messiah as the anniversary of the birth of the Christ Child creeps ever closer. Isaiah (40:25-31) practically sings of the glory and majesty of God. In a certain sense this vision contrasts starkly with the peaceful little scene of the Holy Family in a cave. Jesus came in all humility with only shepherds and a few travelers (and of course Mary and Joseph) given any sense of the greatness and uniqueness of the event. His strength and power will become manifest in His public life with His preaching, healings, exorcisms, and crucifixion. Crucifixion? Yes. Jesus says to apostles:
I lay down my life in order to take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down on my own. I have power to lay it down, and power to take it up again. (John 10:17-18)
Later, Jesus says to Pilate, who claims to be the determiner of Jesus’ fate:
You would have no power over me if it had not been given to you from above. (John 19:11)
Christ Before Pilate Again 1308-11, Duccio Di Buoninsegna
There is that word “power” again and again. Through the Paschal Mystery (Jesus’ suffering, death, and resurrection) Jesus becomes the true power source of our lives. This posting’s headline emphasizes this fact. After a long year, we need to take time to recharge our batteries in the Lord so as to be ready for the adventures of a new year. Be sure to take the time to plug into that power source (with no breakers — do not be afraid of this power surge!) as we approach the joyous time of Christmas (more about this in Sunday’s post). Let it then be a reminder to not neglect this opportunity to approach Jesus for refreshment, restoration, and renewal throughout the year. Only by the power of His grace can we have the strength to survive and thrive.