v. 6 He said to me, "This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel: Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, says the Lord of hosts."
Zerubbabel was the governor of Judah, charged by both the prophet Haggai and the prophet Zechariah with rebuilding the Temple. Here, in the midst of one of Zechariah's vivid visions comes a clear word to him, and so it comes to us as well.
At least some small measure of "power and might" (i.e., control) is what all of us are trained to attempt to gain in and over our lives, and if over a few other lives all the better. This is at least partially how we define success and it is, again at least partially, the fuel for our self-esteem. The prophets, including Jesus, all witness to us that this attempt at control is doomed, it is futile. It is doomed because God cannot be controlled, nor can life itself. It is doomed because we human beings are flawed and our flaws catch up with us sooner or later.
What would it mean to live alternatively by the spirit? It is not a life without ambition. God does not simply want puppets for his children. It means to completely offer one's ambitions, desires, talents, and flaws to God and seek to be God's partner in building your life in the midst of others building their lives. It means to live a life of Eucharist--Thanksgiving.
We have a chance next week to offer our life--for the first time or simply "again"--to the Christ child. Let's take it.