Monday, February 25, 2008
Strength in Weakness
This Sunday gone I departed from my normal routine in order to go and hear a student of mine preach what turned out to be a very good first-ever sermon. I was listening to Hebrews on CD in the car on the way over and one passage jumped out at me: "And what more shall I say? For time would fail me to tell of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, of David and Samuel and the prophets- who through faith conquered kingdoms, enforced justice, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the power of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, were made strong out of weakness, became mighty in war, put foreign armies to flight (Hebrews 11:32-34, ESV)". The message here is that, by faith, God turns our weaknesses into his strength. That is good news for those of us who recognize that we are fallible, imperfect, weak, sinful, and sometimes even wounded eikons (to use Scot McKnight's term) that become vessels of God's grace through his majestic and mysterious power (see also 2 Cor. 12.9 and 13.4). How I wish I could have shared this with the student before the sermon, oh well, may be next time.
For those interested in this subject further see: Michael Parsons and David Cohen (eds). On Eagles’ Wings: An Exploration of Strength in the Midst of Weakness (Eugene: Wipf and Stock, 2008). Which includes an essay by me on, “Obi-wan Kenobi, Neo, and Mark’s Narrative Christology,”51-62.