Authority and Form: Matthew 8

 In this gospel reading the centurion knows the power that can live in words. He has authority and knows the power of his word. He recognizes in Christ Jesus a much greater authority. When Christ Jesus ends the sermon on the mount, the gospel says, “the people were astounded by his words for he taught them as one who had authority and not as their scribes.”

The word in Greek translated as “authority” is “exousia,” the name for very high spiritual beings, higher than the archai, the great spirits of time. The exousia can be described as the Spirits of Form.

Wherever we see “form” in the world of nature, the forms of the plants, their leaves, their blossoms, the forms of the snow crystals, beehives, the forms of the minerals, the animals, the mountains, the rivers, the clouds, the forms that totally permeate the human physical body, wherever we perceive FORM there is working the power of the Spirits of Form; there is working the Authority of the Divine-Word, the Logos, in and through the exousia, bearing and ordering the life of the world.

And that Power, that Authority, the centurion senses, recognizes, living in Christ Jesus.

That is the Power of the Word now coming to dwell, the grow, to live and work IN US. We are to become AUTHORS,


                                                   creating artists in the full, wide, deep sense,

                                                           creating living forms, responsive, flexible

                                                            living forms, resilient and rugged

                                                            living forms, in which and through which,

                                                            angels and archangels can work,

                                                            living forms that re-form and trans-form

                                                            what needs to be changed,

                                                            living forms the free sustain and renew,

                                                            that connect and heal,

                                                       living forms in our lives, our relationships,

                                                       our work, our communities, our societies.


That is what we are experiencing now in this drama. That is what is stirring.

What an awesome commission and mighty, invigorating challenge! What a power of Grace we are now entrusted with, we are waking up to, we are struggling and striving to work with, we are just beginning to learn–HOW TO WIELD the amazing grace of “Christ in us.”    

                                                                                                                                                                              Richard Dancey


One thought on “Authority and Form: Matthew 8

  1. Thank you, Richard. You once shared, a quarter century ago, the belief that you parachuted on to the earth in human form along with many others who were tasked with the challenge of reminding persons of another Light in the world to serve other than the one ignited by the splitting of an atom. It was 1945.

    In this essay, posted just six days before your estimated time of departure, I believe you reference the penetrating ray of light from the Epiphany Star of Grace challenging all of us to form and create new ways of seeing, new ways of being, new ways of walking in the world. “What an awesome commission…”.

    You also reveal, Richard, the steady, courageous, hand on destiny’s rudder that enabled you to stay the course all the way through till the end.

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