by Darren Pope
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‘… this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us’ (2 Corinthians 4:7).
Up; down; left; right; accelerate; brake; lean; and look through the corner. As I drive between Strahan and Hobart, wending the repeated meandering curves through flowing valleys and over jagged mountains, I am reminded of the joy and simplicity of windy roads. Ah, Tasmania, I love it!
Looking across from one side of the steep valley, I see that the road on the other side seems to bend back on itself and disappear in the direction we have just travelled. Road signs warn of falling rocks ahead and the slow speed required when approaching the next small gorge bridge. Slowing the car right down to a crawl, I realise that the bridge is actually a high v-shaped dam wall, filling the gorge carved out by powerful torrents below. I spend the next phase of my journey pondering hydro-electric power.
Hydro is intriguing. Employing gravity, water drops freely through a turbine, converting the kinetic energy of the falling water into mechanical energy. A generator converts the mechanical energy from the turbine into electrical energy to send out on the power grid for the benefit of others. Genius!
As Paul writes to the Corinthians, he highlights God’s work in each of us and our lives. It is always God’s work. God comes to us and works through us. Symbolically, God’s unconditional, grace-filled love is a massive downward pointing arrow. That’s it. There isn’t an arrow that points up from me so that I can be loved and forgiven. It doesn’t depend on me at all. Baptism unveils the free-flowing liberty of love that’s channelled to us and through us. That’s the simplicity of the gospel. Genius!
We worship; repent; serve; pray; honour; respect; give; and forgive all in response to what God has already done for us through his life-giving water, his word and his gift of grace. Now, that’s powerful!
Life-giving God, thank you for being at work in my life. Thank you for coming to me again today to forgive me, fill me through your boundless grace, and refresh me to live a life of worship in service to your world. Amen.