Havenwood Homily for January 20, 2016

“Jesus did this, the first of his signs, in Cana of Galilee, and revealed his glory; and his disciples believed in him.” (John 2:12)

“To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.” (1 Corinthians 12:7)

Changing water into wine is the first of Jesus’ deeds of power. John call these manifestations “signs” of Jesus. From this beginning, Jesus uses his power for good. His power is a mercy, a kindness to his neighbor.

We have lots of warnings about about power. Power corrupts (Lord Acton). With great power comes great responsibility (Spiderman). In all, that powerful people should use their power not for their own gain, but for the good of others.

When when I think of the powerful people these statements are meant for, I never think of myself. Powerful people are presidents and billionaires, not folk like me, right?

But St. Paul tells us that we do have power–power from the Spirit. It’s the same power that was in Jesus’ signs. It’s the power to heal, to speak love, to listen to God, to interpret difficult truths. The Spirit’s power is incredible but also easily twisted. Shell we use this power to hurt, to exclude, to puff ourselves up?

Or, like Jesus, will we recognize ourselves as filled with the Spirit’s power and find ways to use that power for our neighbor’s good and thus reveal God’s glory?

Author: Jason

Rev. Jason Wells is the executive director of the New Hampshire Council of Churches. Prior to this position he served Episcopal congregations in New Hampshire for 13 years after his ordination in 2004. Jason is also a board member of the ACLU-NH. He is a former president of the Greater Concord Interfaith Council and has served on the Episcopal Church's committee on ecumenical and interfaith relationships. Jason received a Master of Divinity degree from Princeton Theological Seminary and also holds bachelors degrees in computer science and mathematics from Southern Methodist University.