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Tables of power

Tables of power

Something to read

Why do the nations conspire, and the peoples plot in vain? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the Lord and his anointed, saying, ‘Let us burst their bonds asunder, and cast their cords from us.’

- Psalm 2:1-3.

Something to think about

Of around 200 sovereign states in the world (recognising that the precise number is subject to dispute and controversy), only 43 have a monarch as their head of state. And they don’t generally gather around a table together to rule the world!

There are plenty of contexts though in which powerful people gather, from board rooms of businesses, to governments and cabinets, to international bodies. In those places of power, the Psalmist would tell us, we can expect the good and just rule of God to be overlooked and even opposed.

Of course, individuals at every level of leadership do work for the common good and seek policies that overturn oppression. But generally, power seeks to maintain itself. So the reign of God is resisted as if it were a ‘bond’ or ‘cord’ on those leaders, when in fact it is a call to justice and liberation for all.

Whether or not we hold positions of influence, we too might cling to a sense of power in our own lives. Doing so can lead us to resist God’s ways as if they were intended to bind us, rather than to help us play our part in making everyone free.

Something to do

Consider what power you have: what positions of influence you might hold, or simply the choices you have available over your time or money. Prayerfully consider how you might use that power to empower or bring freedom for others.

Something to pray

Jesus, thank you that even though you all power belongs to you, you came not to be served but to serve. Help me to mirror your attitude today, making the most of every opportunity I have to love and serve like you. Amen.

Today’s contributor is Rev Claire Jones