Seated

March 29, 2017

 

Scripture: 19 I also pray that you will understand the incredible greatness of God’s power for us who believe him. This is the same mighty power 20 that raised Christ from the dead and seated him in the place of honor at God’s right hand in the heavenly realms. 21 Now he is far above any ruler or authority or power or leader or anything else—not only in this world but also in the world to come. 22 God has put all things under the authority of Christ and has made him head over all things for the benefit of the church. 23 And the church is his body; it is made full and complete by Christ, who fills all things everywhere with himself. [Ephesians 1:19-23 NLT]
 

A couple of years ago a group of pastors from The Florida Conference of The United Methodist Church went to a conference at The United Methodist Church of the Resurrection in Kansas City. This is the church where Rev. Adam Hamilton is the Senior Pastor. I was one of the people leading the group to Kansas City and we had scheduled a time where we could meet for a little bit with Adam Hamilton. It was going to be a great opportunity to speak face-to-face with one of the more influential pastors in The United Methodist Church worldwide. As we gathered in the room for the meeting we all took our place and waited. As Adam Hamilton walked into the room and greeted everyone, he came up toward the front of the room and proceeded to sit in the chair right next to me. I was literally seated at the right hand of Adam Hamilton for the rest of the time we were with him.
 
While the experience I shared is not all that amazing. I have had fun over the years with a few of my colleagues about it. We joke that being seated at the right hand of Adam Hamilton brings to mind the imagery of today’s Scripture. Adam Hamilton is not God, he would be the first to correct anyone who said differently. I am by no means Jesus, I would never suggest this either. However, the imagery of a common local pastor being seated in a place so close to one of the most celebrated pastors in the United States does bring to mind what we believe about Jesus. In The Apostle’s Creed we say that we believe in Jesus Christ who is seated at the right hand of God the Father. This means that Jesus, God the Father’s only Sonour Lord, is seated in the position of authority and power. It is from this position that Jesus will come again to judge the living and the deadeveryone.
 
The right hand was the position of authority and power. To this day that imagery persists. We introduce someone who is second in command as the leader’s right-hand woman/man. Scripture tells us that all authority under heaven and on earth is given to Jesus the Son. Jesus uses this power to intercede on our behalf, to love and forgive, to guide, and to eventually judge. In turn, Jesus told his disciples that he was giving them authority to carry out the ministry he gave to them. The disciples were given power and authority by the one who sits in the place of divine power and authority. This power and authority extends to us then as modern day disciples of Jesus. We have the power and authority, given to us by Jesus, to continue Christ’s ministry in our life. In essence having a relationship with Jesus Christ, by grace through faith, means we are seated in the place of power and authority next to him. While sitting next to Adam Hamilton was fun … being seated next to Jesus is infinitely better.
 
Approach today with the knowledge that you are seated in a position of power and authority in Jesus’s kingdom. Christ has given you all the power and authority you will need to follow Him today. Live boldly today in the name of Jesus. Follow every leading of the Holy Spirit today knowing that you have the power and authority you need. Allow Jesus to use you in a very real and powerful way today to do kingdom work. You never know what conversation will help someone experience the love of Christ today. Be bold as one who is seated in the place of power and authority. Do this today and Jesus will be glorified through you.
 
Prayer: God of power and authority, I desire to live boldly for you today. Thank you for giving me everything I need to do so. Empower me to rely on the power and authority you have given me through your Son Jesus Christ. And may you receive all the honor, glory, and praise in the name of Jesus. Amen.