Monday, 18 July 2011

Adding the Power of Heaven

I have been reading D. Peter Burrows' book JONAH, the reluctant missionary (Gracewing, 2008) in which he explores the book of Jonah, but does so by offering a wide range of Biblical links.  He links the story to many other parts of the Bible in a fascinating way. 

I was particularly struck by a little comment about Moses in which he uses what happened to Moses, when he was called and empowered to do God's work, as a definition of a sacrament.  He is pointing out that what matters is the difference that God makes.

Thus, he writes (p. 103/4) - "This reliance upon God rather than upon self is called 'faith' and Moses has no signs of power - he is a weakling.  God clearly likes this about Moses and says in effect: 'You supply the staff, your right arm and a little water; I will add the power.'  The staff becomes a serpent, the right arm becomes leprous and the water turns to blood.  Moses supplies the little things of his life; God adds the power.  What better definition of a Christian sacrament?  'You bring what you have and offer it to me; I will add the power of heaven.'"

God doesn't need our strength, just our weakness.

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