I’m reading through Ben Myers’ book The Apostles’ Creed: A Guide to the Ancient Catechism, and I love what he says about God’s power in the chapter on the word “Almighty.”
The early Christians often compared God to a breastfeeding mother: it is a favorite image in numerous sermons and writings from the ancient church. We relate to God not like loyal subjects submitting to a powerful ruler, but like infants drawing nourishment from a mother… Augustine described the divine power as “maternal love, expressing itself as weakness.”
True power is not the ability to control. Controlling behavior is a sign of weakness and insecurity. True power is the ability to love and enable without reserve. God’s power, like the power of a good parent or teacher, is the capacity to nourish other agents and to help their freedom to grow.
In an age when we are very suspicious of power, it’s important to proclaim how God’s power is so vastly different from the worldly, controlling expressions of power that abuse and oppress people.
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