Summary: We are reconciled—brought into a right relationship—in all aspects of our lives through the life, death, resurrection of Jesus.
Colossians 1:15-28. "Reconciled"
I did quite a bit of traveling this past week, in parts of this country with which I was unfamiliar. Thankfully, I knew where I needed to go, and I had my trusty GPS "Gidget" to show me the way. I can't imagine what a mess I would have been in had I not known where I was going and how to get there. I'd probably still be drinking sweet tea and watching the armadillos cross the road.
Rick Warren in his book, The Purpose Driven Life states that nothing precedes purpose. He and other life gurus agree that we need to answer some basic questions of life: "Who are we?" "Why are we here" and "Where are we headed--What is our purpose?" Unfortunately, few of us pause long enough in our hectic lives to ponder these questions.
The writer of Colossians addresses these questions in today's text. He not only sheds light on what our purpose as Christians should be, he also lays a strong foundation on which to build that purpose.
WHO JESUS IS
The writer begins by telling his readers who it is who gives them purpose.
Jesus is the image of God, and also the fullness of God. When we see Jesus, we are seeing God. This God is not a god of judgment, wrath, and violence as imagined by the Israelites in Old Testament times. Rather, we see a God of love and grace. We see a God who heals the sick and reaches out to the marginalized people of society.
We also see a God who can still a storm, cast out demons, and feed five thousand people. The writer, using a liturgical hymn, describes Jesus as the creator of all things. Jesus existed before creation, and he holds all of creation together.
Jesus is not only the creator of all, he is also the head of his body the church.
This Jesus whom we acknowledge as our Lord, and whose disciples we claim to be is no light weight. We're talking about something more than being loyal to a political party, adherents to a particular philosophical perspective. This is something even greater than reaching our own personal goals and reaching our full potential. We worship and follow the ultimate God.
WHAT JESUS HAS DONE
The writer doesn't stop at who Jesus is, he continues on by describing what Jesus has done.
The cross of Jesus Christ, his life death and resurrection, is the writer's focal point. It is on the cross that something happened. We were reconciled with God, ourselves, our neighbors and creation. We experience a knew relationship with God. God's kingdom has broken out on earth. A new age has come. We can't lives with old, passé purposes and live in the new age that had its start at the cross.
The cross of Christ has also brought us peace. We have peace, because we trust that God holds our lives, the lives of those we love, and our world in his hands.
We who were once estranged and hostile are now holy, blameless, and irreproachable. We are righteous dudes.
OUR ULTIMATE PURPOSE
The writer's response to who Jesus is and to what Jesus has done is to make this good news known to all. He is Jesus' servant and he has received a call--a commission.q
The purpose of the writer is our purpose, also. We are now called to so live that we are able to present all people mature in Christ. We now boldly proclaim that our hands and feet are to be used solely to serve God and to present all people mature in Christ.
Our mind now focuses upon loving God and serving others.
Our time is used for service whether it be a work, with our families, or by ourselves.
Our wallets and purses, or perhaps in this day in age our debit cards and credit cards are used to further God's kingdom.
There are times when we focus too much on heaven and what life is going to be like in the great by and by. Jesus didn't die so that we can have new life when we die. Jesus died so that we can have new life now. Jesus died and lived again so that we might have true purpose, know where we are going, how we are going to get there, and that we might experience the abundant life Jesus has given us.