Who has the power, give strength to you!
Who has the power, give strength to you! (ROM 16/25-27)
Maybe that’s what you like: seems familiar – the Annunciation scene with Mary and the Archangel Gabriel, which we hear at the same time Holy evening – the Gospel on the morning of the 4th Sunday of Advent – not least because in the course of art history always and again in Image was used. And quite rightly, because is all about the origin of the Incarnation of God, the great mystery of faith and the foundation of our Christianity. God becomes man this is obvious to us, because the calendar adds another year, and yet I wish to use for my letter to you this year, distinguished members of our Association ‘Unum Omnes’, the reading from Romans as a basis for some food for thought for us to reflect upon these days. These words lead us directly to the wonderful events which we will celebrate in the forthcoming Christmas.
“Glory be to the one who has the power to give you strength”- with this greeting of the Apostle Paul ends his letter to the Romans. This is however a deep wisdom. It is God who has the power to give us strength; He is mysterious and incomprehensible way people in his service, to take him and his message to the world. We have partly discussed this message at our EXCOM meeting in the Czech Republic. How to we bring Jesus to our fellow human beings, especially to those who in need of our help.
But: What wonderful image of God – God used his power single handedly, but uses it to give us the strength to his life! Although the conclusion of the Epistle to the Romans not explicitly refers to the imminent arrival of Jesus in Christmas, the words exactly fit: dealing with the “revelation of the mystery that was unspoken since ancient times, but now according to the will of the” Eternal God reveals” shall be. God and man are an inseparable not only the child in the stable, not only in Jesus but in each of us. Each and every one of us, fortified by the power of God, can bring faith into the world. And we know that this is today more necessary than ever in all countries of our world! God allows us to share in the eternal and mysterious events that have been faithfully proclaimed from time immemorial in the prophetic writings
Honor to whom all honor is due – so says a proverb. The greeting which ends the Apostle’s Letter of the Romans, is sure that honor belongs to whom and why: it is God , who does not need exercise his power alone, but who loves the people so much, that He became one of us. Therefore He can and will take us in his service – worship in the truest sense of the word. And man who receives this power and really gives himself to the service of God, is precisely able to do great things. We cannot do everything on our own and do not need to. God’s power is enough for all of us. Therefore we can and should let Him arrive into the world. Not only in Advent, not only for Christmas, but over and over again. I wish the hope and the strength to us all this Christmas time but for the coming year 2018, in which we celebrate our 70th anniversary in Rome.
We wish you all and your loved one God’s power and his blessing for a gracious Christmas and a New Year 2018.
Willibald Steiner, eccl. Assistent