|Published on Wed, Apr 29, 2020 12:00 AM|
Meditation for 29 April 2020 by Karen Sjöström
“And you, who once were alienated (from God) and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, he has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before him.” Colossians 1:21-22
In Colossians 1:15-23, Paul is trying, as he does in many of his letters to the scattered early churches, to explain the nature of Jesus Christ, and of Christ’s relationship with God and with humankind. These small churches are struggling on their own to form a coherent vision of this new religion, often adopting bits and pieces of other beliefs, but Paul is determined to get everyone on the same page. In Colossae, some of the people still held the old belief that a hierarchy of angels was necessary to act as intermediaries between humans and God. Paul states that Jesus Christ is the visible image of the invisible God and is one with God in every way. As God has dominion over all, so Christ has dominion over all. It is through him that everything was created, even angels. Because of his incarnation and death as a human being, he is able to bring God to humans and humans to God through his sacrifice on the cross. Everyone is brought blameless to God. All the people have to do is to remain faithful to the hope proclaimed to everyone in the Gospel.
I am given such joy and hope by the promise that I am reconciled to God, in spite of my weakness, simply by Christ’s act of sacrifice. Because of my daily failure to live up to the moral and behavioral standards set by Christ’s example, I know I am not blameless. Yet there is the promise that I will be beyond reproach in the end. There is such freedom offered by that promise. I don’t have to waste energy beating myself up for every trespass I make. I just need to stand up, move forward and try to do a better job next time. Not because I will be punished, but because I have the support and freedom to make the decision to improve.
As a Church and as a society we are experiencing a frightening and desperate time. The specter of illness and death haunts us. We feel responsible not only for our own well-being, but for the well-being of those around us. Any ill-considered action may have grave consequences, and we may feel powerless. We can find comfort in these words of Paul, that God through Christ has it all covered. He is more powerful than death. Our call is to walk the path that Jesus showed us, to care for our fellow human beings and remain hopeful.
Exodus 19:16-25 Psalm 38 Colossians 1:15-23 Matthew 3:13-17