Thursday, April 08, 2010

Mighty powerful

Originally uploaded by E.n.d.e.r
In this season of Easter, we're going to be reading texts from Acts and from Revelation--following the stories of the apostles as they formed the early church (Acts) and watching as John's wild and divine vision uncovers something true and powerful about what is and has been and will be (Revelation).

This week, we jump into Revelation near the beginning, as the author starts off this telling of his mystical vision by naming God. And John uses a special word: Pantocrator. In English, this word is ofted translated into "Almighty," but has nuance that we're tempted to miss if we just slip into familiar words for God.

Christ as "Pantocrator" implies that Christ is, now, in power, doing everything. It's less about naming what God could do (as in, watch your step, 'cause God could strike you down if you mess up), and more about naming a present reality: Christ is at work in all things. This power is about sustaining and giving life.

Which is exactly what was happening in the midst of the life of the early apostles. They were doing wild things, in Christ's name. Sometimes, it got them into trouble; always, it came from a deep grounding in a new reality.

During this season of Easter, we get to do the same thing those apostles were doing: figure out how to live in this life, in the midst of resurrection power.