Blogging Towards Sunday, August 7, 2011
Chosen by Anne Marie Adams, this scripture lifts of the awesomeness of who Jesus is. He is the “visible image of the invisible God”. WOW! That says a lot, and potentially nothing (for our secular world today). The passage points back to the beginning of who Jesus is, spelling it out ontologically (regarding being) and epistemologically (regarding the origin of knowledge). Yet the passage isn’t just about the past, it moves from this universal proclamation of what has been and what is, to a description of where we’re headed, what the world is becoming alongside, because of, in and through this Jesus.
Ironically when you speak with non Jesus followers of today they’ll often tell you that they like Jesus, that they’re attracted to his teachings, marveled by his life and ethical model. They often will also agree with the statement of Gandhi. “I like your Christ. I do not like your Christians. They are so unlike your Christ.” Something happens in our lives and in our life together, between our experience of Jesus as this visible image of the invisible God, a tangible experience of the omnipotent One who is beyond us, and the way in which that experience touches, transforms and tweaks our lives. We don't just see the glass or half full or half empty, we see the glass differently.
Anne Marie told me that she likes this passage because it lifts up the mystery that “amazing things happen when we focus on Jesus.” This letter to the church in Colosse (modern day Turkey) asserts that when we focus on him things change, reconciliation happens, divisions are destroyed, wounds are healed, life is rediscovered, freedom is recognized and claimed, hope is not merely a political slogan or vain wish, but a concrete reality.
· What word, image or phrase in this passage grabs your attention?
· How does that word, image or phrase touch your life and what you’re living or wrestling with these days?
· How do you hear the Spirit of God inviting you – or us as a church – to act, speak or be through this passage?
· How does experiencing Jesus give you hope (once, in the beginning; and also on an ongoing basis)? How does it shape your ethical actions? How does it attract you towards faithfully bearing good fruits in your life, actions, words and relationships?
· How do you need to experience reconciliation to know the peace of God (v 20-23)?