Relationships of Power, Relationships of Love

Clear from the New Church, that the Chrisitian perpective is about moving to a loving place – big stuff given that it redefines traditional Christianity around an expanded view of “salvation.”   Emanuel Swedenborg wrote of this fact, “People in whom the life of love and charity dwells have the Lord‘s life within them. Nobody can be joined to Him by any other way.”  Love and useful service is simply how we connect to God.

That loving place however is arrived out via an often rather arduous road.

This is where “power” comes in.  We often involve ourselves in “power” relationships, figuring out ways in which we can either be powerful or associate ourselves closely with those who possess power.  That does appear to be part of human growth – for better or worse – a natural proclivity, a natural attraction to what judge as power.

And at some point, after gaining power, we must freely give it away.  Into that breach, love arrives.  As one good friend noted, this is not about an un-boundaried “Free to be you and me” type of love.  It is actually a love that knows and understands power AND gains its power from having given it away.  To quote Richard Rohr …

“Power apart from love leads to brutality and evil; but love that does not engage with power—and become a whole new kind of power—is mere sentimentality.  It often becomes a destructive kind of powerlessness.  True love is not naïve, but is a conscious and intelligent gift of the self.”

This again, pulls us right back to Easter and the power of the temptations faced by Jesus on the Cross, over what we now call Easter.  Many Christians view the Cross as the symbol of salvation.  Maybe there is even more space to view it as empowered love.

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