With authority

Dearly Beloved,
Grace and Peace to you.
They were astounded at his teaching, for he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes. Just then there was in their synagogue a man with an unclean spirit, and he cried out, “What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are, the Holy One of God.” But Jesus rebuked him, saying, “Be silent, and come out of him!” And the unclean spirit, convulsing him and crying with a loud voice, came out of him. They were all amazed, and they kept on asking one another, “What is this? A new teaching—with authority! He commands even the unclean spirits, and they obey him.”
                  —Mark 1. 22-27

Jesus’ authority was not power, but authenticity, the harmony of words and actions, both flowing from a life-giving truth. The Buddha speaks of the eightfold path of right mindfulness, right intention, right action, right speech and so on. Jesus clearly embodied love that creates life and re-writes our stories, that “authors” a new reality. When we live with integrity rooted in love, we connect with a life-giving power that re-creates the world.

The spirit in the man cries out, “What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us?” The spirits—they seem to be plural—are smart to feel threatened. They know that Jesus has indeed come to destroy them: he is out to undermine the very power of evil itself.

You don’t need to have miraculous powers. All you need to do is live with authenticity, live with integrity rooted in love, live your life as truly as the songbird sings its own true song, and you tap into Spirit, and through you flows a power that defeats evil and creates a new world.

Be lovingly present. Let your actions speak. Be transparent to God’s grace. In so doing, you draw on a power that helps you stand against all that would diminish life. And you shift the balance of power in the universe.
Deep Blessings,
Pastor Steve

Copyright © Steve Garnaas-Holmes
Unfolding Light

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