3D 7.26.2019

Colossians 1:15-28 NRSV

15He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation; 16for in him all things in heaven and on earth were created, things visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or powers-all things have been created through him and for him. 17He himself is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18He is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that he might come to have first place in everything. 19For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, 20and through him God was pleased to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, by making peace through the blood of his cross. 21And you who were once estranged and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, 22he has now reconciled in his fleshly body through death, so as to present you holy and blameless and irreproachable before him- 23provided that you continue securely established and steadfast in the faith, without shifting from the hope promised by the gospel that you heard, which has been proclaimed to every creature under heaven. I, Paul, became a servant of this gospel. 24I am now rejoicing in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I am completing what is lacking in Christ's afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the church. 25I became its servant according to God's commission that was given to me for you, to make the word of God fully known, 26the mystery that has been hidden throughout the ages and generations but has now been revealed to his saints. 27To them God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. 28It is he whom we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone in all wisdom, so that we may present everyone mature in Christ.

This passage, much of it an ancient Christian hymn (verses 15-20), may enlighten us about the early stage in the development of belief about Jesus and it may also help in our endeavors to understand both the humanity and the divinity of Christ. But first we must start with the belief that God raised Jesus from the dead. Otherwise, there is little incentive to think of Jesus as any more than a Jewish prophet, sage, social revolutionary, or healer. But once we share the same essential starting point with early Christians, we face similar questions about the status of the resurrected Jesus.
Study of the hymn shows that early Christian thought moved from what was believed about Christ on the basis of his resurrection and of believers' experience of salvation through him to what he must have been from before the beginning of time. In the Christian belief expressed in the Colossian hymn, the movement from Christ's role in redemption to his role in creation is made by redirecting to Christ as the one God active in creation and the world. Now as the embodiment of God, Christ is the agent of the one God in creation, the one through whom creation continues. He is the one whose death and resurrection reveals and accomplishes God's purposes for humanity. In Christian belief Jesus of Nazareth is seen as the point at which the particular and the universal, the human and the divine uniquely intersect.
Having difficulty following this? Well, read again and again the following verses from this Colossian hymn and just maybe it will begin to dawn on us. Do not work too hard to understand what I am trying to say. Just let this part of the hymn find its melody in your soul. After all, music most often speaks to the soul before it speaks to the mind. "There's within my heart a melody..."

"He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation; for in him all things in heaven and on earth were created, things visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or powers-all things have been created through him and for him. He himself is before all things, and in him all things hold together....For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him God was pleased to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, by making peace through the blood of his cross."

Thanks be to God! Amen.
Ken Casey


Recent

Archive

 2021
 March
Weird is the New Normal: A Lenten Walk Through 40 Questions in Genesis - Day 13Weird is the New Normal: A Lenten Walk Through 40 Questions in Genesis- Day FourteenWeird is the New Normal: A Lenten Walk Through 40 Questions in Genesis-Day FifteenWeird is the New Normal: A Lenten Walk Through 40 Questions in Genesis- Day 16Weird is the New Normal: A Lenten Walk Through 40 Questions in Genesis- Day SeventeenWeird is the New Normal: A Lenten Walk Through 40 Questions in Genesis, Day EighteenWeird is the New Normal: A Lenten Walk Through 40 Questions in Genesis- Day NineteenWeird is the New Normal: A Lenten Walk Through 40 Questions in Genesis- Day TwentyWeird is the New Normal: A Lenten Walk Through 40 Questions in Genesis- Day Twenty-OneWeird is the New Normal: A Lenten Walk Through 40 Questions in Genesis- Day Twenty-TwoWeird is the New Normal: A Lenten Walk Through 40 Questions in Genesis- Day Twenty-TwoWeird is the New Normal: A Lenten Walk Through 40 Questions in Genesis-Twenty-FourWeird is the New Normal: A Lenten Walk Through 40 Questions in Genesis- Day Twenty-FiveWeird is the New Normal: A Lenten Walk Through 40 Questions in Genesis- Day Twenty-SixWeird is the New Normal: A Lenten Walk Through 40 Questions in Genesis - Day Twenty-SevenWeird is the New Normal: A Lenten Walk Through 40 Questions in Genesis- Day Twenty-EightWeird is the New Normal: A Lenten Walk Through 40 Questions in Genesis - Day Twenty-NineWeird is the New Normal: A Lenten Walk Through 40 Questions in Genesis - Day ThirtyWeird is the New Normal: A Lenten Walk Through 40 Questions in Genesis- Day Thirty-OneWeird is the New Normal: A Lenten Walk Through 40 Questions in Genesis - Day Thirty TwoWeird is the New Normal: A Lenten Walk Through 40 Questions in Genesis - Day Thirty-ThreeWeird is the New Normal: A Lenten Walk Through 40 Questions in Genesis - Day Thirty-FourWeird is the New Normal: A Lenten Walk Through 40 Questions in Genesis- Day Thirty-FiveWeird is the New Normal: A Lenten Walk Through 40 Questions in Genesis- Day Thirty-SixWeird is the New Normal: A Lenten Walk Through 40 Questions in Genesis- Day Thirty-SevenWeird is the New Normal: A Lenten Walk Through 40 Questions in Genesis- Day Thirty EightWeird is the New Normal: A Lenten Walk Through 40 Questions in Genesis- Day Thirty-NineWeird is the New Normal: A Lenten Walk Through 40 Questions in Genesis - Day Forty
 September

Categories

Tags

3 Encouraging Abraham Acts All Saints' Day Apostle's Creed Back to School Baptism Be Bold Bible study Blessings Body Build up Build Burden Busy Celebrate Center Christian Christ Church Commandment Communion Connect Four Connected Connect Core Values Core Covenant Dare Disciple Don't Stop Dreaming Egypt Faith Father's Day Father\'s Day Fear Gentle Gifts Give up Give Go Wrong Goal God Gospel Grace Growing Grow Hard Hear Holy Spirit In Charge Jacob Jerusalem Jesus Wept Jesus John Wesley Joseph Journal Journey Knowing God Labor Lent Listen Lord Love Man Martha Mary Ministry Mission Statement Moses Name Obey One Another Paul Peter Pharaoh Plan A Pop Quiz Prayer Psalm 102 Purpose Quiet Rejoice Renewal Saints Samarian Samaritan Sanctifying Grace Satisfied School Scripture Serving Spirit Sufferings Talking Truths Union Unity Used Why Work Yesterday accomplish actions action act admitting all ambassadors angel anger answer arrogance ask attention attitude bad news bad beautiful before believe birthright blessed blessing boat body of Christ bold break brothers brother calling call candle care carry catch change chat children child choices choice church family circumstace commandments commitment confession consequence content control conversation courage creation cross crucified crying cry death deceiver deceive deception decisions decision dedication defeat dejected demons depth devote devotional die difficult dinner discipleship dispair divine door doubt dreams each other earth encouragement encourage equipped eternity evil excuses experience extraoridnary fair faithfulness faithful faults favor feeling fellowship financially flaw fly followers follow forgive fortune friends fruitful fruit full future generosity gift glory goal good life goodness good grateful growth grudge guest guide happen happy hard times hardship harmony hearts heart heaven help homes home honesty honest honor hope hospitality human humble humility hungry hurt image impatient imperfect impossible inheritance inivte inspiring integrity intersect jealous judge justice keep the faith keep kept kindness kind knock lament law liar life light live load lonely long look back look loss lost lunchroom make meaning meditate mercy messed up mess minister missed mission and service mission mistakes moment money more mountain mourning mysterious near needy need new year new next notice obedience offering open oppressed others outsider pain part passionate worship past patience peace people perserverance persistent pigs place plan ponder poor position power pray preach prefer prepare prevenient price pride progress prophet protect provided provision question race reaction reap reason received receives redeem reflection reflect relate relationship remember remorse repay repentance require research respond responsible reveal revenge reward riches right risk-taking risky rivers road roll call rotten rules sacrament sad save secret seek self-examination sermon serve service shelter shortcomings sick sign sinners sin situations slove someone else sorrow sorry sow spiritually spiritual steps step store storm strength struggle suffering swine sympathize table talents tears tempted ten commandments thankful thanks theology think thoughts ticket to ride time tomorrow trait travel treasure true trust truth unbelief unclean unfaithfulness unhelpful universal unlikely people unlikely places unlikely violence wait walk on water walk wander want waves weep weird welcome when pigs fly where wholeheartedly who why? willing wisdom wise wonder worked worries worship wrestle write wrong years yesterday thinking