“Reasons to be cheerful 1-2-3”
Ian Drury and the Blockheads 1979
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us.”
Nelson Mandela 1994 Inaugural speech (quoting the poet Marianne Williamson)
 However, do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven .”  At that time Jesus, full of joy through the Holy Spirit, said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. Yes, Father, for this is what you were pleased to do.
Luke 10:20-21 NIV
It’s always risky when ordinary people discover that they’re more powerful than they ever dreamed they were. The first temptation might be to misuse that power in some way. The more subtle temptations affect the way they begin to see themselves and the world they inhabit. To what do they attribute the power they possess? Do they begin to derive their sense of purpose and security from what they can do, rather than who they are? Does their new found sense of confidence morph into an inflated view of their own importance and self-sufficiency?
When Jesus sent out 72 of his followers, two by two, on a journey of mission and preparation did he worry…were they really ready? Did they understand what he was all about? Would they know what to do and say in each and every new situation, as two worlds – two kingdoms clashed and collided? Would faith survive and grow, or would it all come crashing down.
In the end, he had to have faith in them as they had faith in him.
And it all worked out well…they came back full of what they’d done in Jesus name. Changed lives, evil spiritual powers overthrown, healing of mind and body…a group of his followers becoming in reality part of his mission, the one drawing him inexorably towards Jerusalem and his destiny, the mission to neutralise and repair the terrible grip of evil on a world God had made to be a good place.
But Jesus quickly saw that a new danger presented itself in their success. It would be all too easy to see themselves as all-conquering heroes, forgetting that all they had achieved flowed out of the new relationship that they had with him.
They certainly had reasons to be joyful and Jesus reminds them that their success, their new power, their new security, their new identity have their source in the new Kingdom of which they are now part.
And then, overwhelmed by a sense of what God had shown these young, naïve, enthusiastic followers and friends he launched into a prayer of wonder and delight that the Father has given them such amazing, life-changing experiences.