Day Thirty-Seven of Lent

April 11, 2019
By MB Discipleship

He raises the poor from the dust and lifts the needy from the ash heap;  he seats them with princes, with the princes of his people. – Psalm 113:7-8

 What do you do with your power?

It’s a question parents have to think about before they let the oldest kid have responsibility for the younger ones while the parents go out for the evening. Does the oldest kid have enough power to keep the younger ones appropriately safe and in line? Does the oldest kid make good choices with the power that they have? Do they exercise responsibility as much as they relish being in charge?

Every field, every discipline, every organization or government or company has to grapple with power. How do you implement checks and balances? Is your structure top-heavy? Who has the ability to be a whistleblower? Who profits off of your information? Who has the power, the patient or the physician – or the insurer? Who has the power, the trader or the investor? Who has the power, the grandparent or the grandchild?

Sometimes we possess power and we don’t even realize it. You may influence someone without knowing it; you may have the freedom that confidence brings even if your bank account is modest; you may have the impact of shaping young minds even if you don’t get to see the long-term fruit of your labor while you grade papers or write a lesson plan.

Before today’s scripture, the writer of this song posed the question, “who is like the Lord our God?” As this prompts us to consider and to wonder in awe, the writer continues to describe what God is like. And the one who “sits enthroned,” we read today, “raises the poor from the dust and lifts the needy from the ash heap; he seats them with princes.”

With the power to create a universe, with the power to swat away comets like a small fruit fly, with the power to sustain the existence of all that is – who is like the Lord? The all-powerful God who, with all that power, raises the poor from the dust and lifts the needy from the ash heap. This is what the Lord our God does with power? Lift up – the poor? Lift up – the needy?

What would you do if you were Queen or King for a day – quite literally? If you were ruler for a day, and your decree would last after you were done being in charge. Would you make producers bring back your favorite cancelled tv show? Would you outlaw brussels sprouts? Would you ask for a Bentley or Lamborghini? Would you direct taxes to go toward pediatric cancer research? What would you do with your power?

Who is like the Lord your God? Who raises the poor from the dust and lifts the needy from the ash heap; he seats them with princes. This, the songwriter tells us, is what God does with power. God sees the powerless and gives them the best seats in the house. God sees poor people and puts them elbow to elbow with leaders. God sees people who lack resources and clout and honors them.

Remember this as we approach the end of the Lent, as we come closer to Jerusalem and the cross. Think about these truths as you read about the arrest and execution of Jesus.

*What power do you have that you might be overlooking? How is God asking you to use it to benefit others?