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The Olympics in Greece have officially begun.  Along with the traditional hopes and expectations of success by individual athletes and entire nations, there is also a palpable concern and angst about potential terrorism at the first games since 9/11.  To prevent any terror attacks the Greeks have spent a record amount of money putting in place a vast and varied web of security and protection.  In fact, one Greek official voiced that what they had done was 'more than humanly possible.?

"More than humanly possible" ? now there's a statement.  At first I thought that something must have been lost in the translation from Greek to English (which wouldn't be a first).  Then I wondered if it might be a new example of hyperbole (unlike others that I have heard a million times before). After all, if humans do something, it's not more than humanly possible right?  But, in the end I have concluded that those 4 words spoken can be very accurate and true indeed ? when you factor God in.

The Christian life is impossible for humans to live.  Jesus said, ?I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.? (John 15:5) It has always been so.  That's why the disciples had to wait in Jerusalem after the resurrection ? for power. (Acts 1:4-8)  Such absence of self-reliance and self-sufficiency flies in the face of the Western world's ?unlimited human potential? approach to life. 

Too often it is our approach to church as well.  After all, why wait for God when we can manipulate things our way through television, nominating committees, stewardship campaigns, forced levels of education, and grasped leadership in the name of upholding traditions or in the name of breaking them?  All of those thing are fine when actually empowered by God, but alone they are, well, Godless and powerless to accomplish anything eternal beyond this mortal life.

For the sake of our athletes, and peace in the world, I do hope that God has enabled the Greeks to set up security beyond what they could do only by their own effort.  After that, the Olympics should remain a place where unaided human accomplishment is showcased.  Church, however, must be a place where, through Jesus, we only do what is more than humanly possible.

Pastor Tim Davis, Copyright 2004
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