If Savannah Guthrie, Matt Lauer, and Anderson Cooper had been alive and if television had been in existence in 1809, the morning and evening news would have focused on Austria. The big news in 1809 was Napoleon Bonaparte leading the French army across Austria. While the world focused on Napoleon, babies were being born in 1809. But, who cared about a baby when the significant news was Napoleon? What is fascinating is that when you look back at 1809, no one except a Ph.D. in history would have remembered the details of the battles of Austria. But all of us remember the babies born in 1809: Alfred Lord Tennyson, Oliver Wendell Holmes, Edgar Allan Poe, Charles Darwin…and in Kentucky, a young baby was born named… Abraham Lincoln!
In the same way, if we look back at Palestine, 2000 years ago, the big news was Caesar Augustus, the emperor, calling for a census. No one would have even noticed a baby born to a carpenter and his betrothed wife. Joseph was probably in his early 20s and Mary was a teenager, probably 13-15, as they made their way to Bethlehem for the census. There were no TV crews covering that event. The birth was so obscure that few people even noticed.
Luther’s image of left handed and right handed power is an important metaphor for our time in history when our world is starving for reconciliation. In this Christmas season, can we find one simple way to show the people around us that we love them…without giving them a tangible gift? For example, what if we would gather some friends on New Year’s Day, or some other day, to volunteer together in a homeless shelter serving a meal and singing carols? But watch out…when we exercise left handed power…we might experience a new birth…in us!
- When have you seen someone exercise left handed power?
- What is an opportunity for you to exercise left handed power in your sphere of influence?