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"Power to Witness" 7th Sunday of Easter - May 12, 2024



There’s a word in our reading from Acts this morning that I have a hard time with.


I do. 


Maybe you do too. It makes me…uncomfortable. But it’s right there…Right there in the first chapter of the Acts of the Apostles – Luke has Jesus using the word, so it must be an important word…it must be a word for us to know…But, it makes me feel funny. 


The word is…power.


Power. 


Look at your bulletin…it’s there….Jesus says to his disciples, “But you will receive power….” 


Gives me the shivers….Because, I don’t think that word is very popular these days. Ohhh…I don’t know, maybe at one point we still lived in a culture, an age where the word trust and the word power could be used in the same sentence without crossing your fingers behind your back. Or…maybe, we were just accustomed to turning the other way….just let those who seem to have it, use it.


Lyndon B. Johnson said, “There might be many things I don’t understand. But I understand power. I know where to look for it and I know how to use it…Power is, where power goes.” 


I don’t know if you’re a reader of the news…but…there are people who know how to get power.


Of course, it doesn’t even have to be on a world’s stage. Have you ever been in a room where someone knew they had the power? A big man behind a little desk, or a little man at a big table? 


I don’t like it.


Even in seminary we had to talk about it. They asked us, “What’s your relationship to your power? What’s your relationship to your authority?” I didn’t like it. It made me uncomfortable. But we had to talk about it. We had to look at it. 


And guess what…there’s power in this room. There is! 


But, what kind of power is it? 


It wasn’t just Luke who used that word “power.” So did Paul. He was writing to those Corinthians who had become overly impressed by some dog and pony, super spiritual, razz-ma-tazz, traveling evangelists when he wrote, “My preaching was not with enticing words of wisdom, but in demonstration of Spirit and power.” Now see there it is again. That word.


It seems like…these followers of Jesus in the early church…these apostles. They too had to understand what power meant. 


We see t