Read Matthew 21:1-5
1 When they had come near Jerusalem and had reached Bethphage, at the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two disciples, 2 saying to them, “Go into the village ahead of you, and immediately you will find a donkey tied, and a colt with her; untie them and bring them to me. 3 If anyone says anything to you, just say this, ‘The Lord needs them.’ And he will send them immediately” 4 This took place to fulfill what had been spoken through the prophet, saying,
5 “Tell the daughter of Zion,
Look, your king is coming to you,
humble, and mounted on a donkey,
and on a colt, the foal of a donkey.” (NRSV)
Some years ago on Capitol Hill, Washington, a group of important men and women stood and applauded their lunch guest. She was an older woman wearing a simple grey cardigan and sandals over bare feet. Members of the US congress were greeting Mother Teresa. One group of power-brokers was confronting another sort of power.
Power comes in different forms. Military and economic power can be obvious. Physical power can be plain to us. Some have powerful intellects which are clear. Powerful speech is readily discernible. And we are all familiar with those who have powerful personalities.
Yet there is another sort of power that is not so obvious. Mother Teresa exemplified it. The power of selfless love, of helping those who are helpless. Those who follow Jesus are commanded to also exemplify this power. It may not hit the headlines. Those who serve in this way may feel powerless or weak or insignificant. No matter: the sort of power they exercise is sourced in a powerful God, not in their own resources.
Those who follow Jesus follow someone was utterly powerful but seemed at times so powerless. Asleep in a fishing boat, riding a donkey, hanging on a cross. Power can wear many disguises, can look nothing like what we understand as power.
The power we wield is not of the muscle-flexing variety. It may look like weakness. It will not make sense to most people. But then again, most people don’t worship a crucified God.