Summary: The roots of faith in the work of Christ on the Cross enable us to withstand the strong winds and storms of life.
Colossians 2:6-15 “Rooted in the Faith”
During the football season a sub-specie of Homo sapiens arises called the armchair quarterback. These are people who may or may not have ever played football, and may or may not know how to throw a football, but do know how to avoid the mistakes that took place in the previous football game. They are full of ideas and suggestions. Some of these ideas and suggestions, in reality, might be helpful, but most of them are not.
There are people, who, for various reasons, want to be armchair quarterbacks of our lives. Some of them write self-help books, while others are well meaning family and friends. All have ideas to help us attain the good life. In the multitude of suggestions, we might even get some ideas on how we might grow spiritually.
The writer to the Colossians, in today’s text, is an inspired guide on how we can live each day as disciples of Jesus Christ and experience the abundant life that Jesus has provided for us. Summing up his advice he says, “Be established in your faith and abounding in thanksgiving.”
REMEMBER YOUR BAPTISM
Child baptism is practiced by a majority of Christians around the world. There are several theological reasons for this, but one of the main reasons is that it exemplifies God’s grace most clearly. The child comes to the baptismal font empty handed. They have not done anything worthy of note except perhaps messing their diaper. Still, in the waters of baptism, God forgives their sin, makes them a new person, adopts them as children of God, and fills them with the Holy Spirit—fantastic overwhelming grace.
Our baptism was the beginning of our new life in Jesus. It is by grace that we have received Christ Jesus, and it is by faith that we now live in him. The faith we have been given enables us to trust in Jesus, make Jesus our highest priority, and see ourselves and the world around us from Jesus’ perspective.
In moments of despair, battles against overwhelming foes, and resisting strong temptations, Martin Luther would often cry out, “I have been baptized!” It was his way of reminding himself that he was a forgiven, loved child of God, and that God held him in the palm of God’s hands. In similar circumstances and when we encounter the blessings and battles of everyday life, we do well to remember our baptism—what God has done for us and who we are.
KEEP IT SIMPLE
The writer to the Colossians makes a bold claim in verse 10. He writes, “And you have come to fullness in him, who is the head of every ruler and authority.” In other words, we have it all, and we don’t need anything more.
Our lives are filled with Jesus—with God’s love and grace, but at times we struggle to believe this. We see our lives as empty and we try various ways to fill them up.
• We may fill our calendars with stuff to do, because we secretly tell ourselves that busy people are important, valuable people.
• We accumulate things because we have bought in to the idea that whoever dies with the most toys wins.
• We don’t share because we are afraid that we might run out
• We allow our lives to be controlled by the expectations of others because we believe we need to in order to be loved, appreciated and counted a person of worth.
We don’t need to accessorize, because we have Jesus. The fullness that is ours because of the grace and love we have received in Jesus allows us to live simple—or at least simpler lives.
We sometimes don’t see any reason to be thankful, because “We don’t have … “ or “Times are tough.” The writer to the Colossians was writing to a people facing persecution, social upheaval and religious controversy. In the face of such conditions he tells them to abound in thanksgiving.
There are many reasons why we can give thanks.
• We may not have everything, but we have Jesus
• Times may be difficult, but we have Jesus
• We may hurt, but we have Jesus.
We can practice giving thanks and develop an attitude of gratitude. One practice that has helped me is to find three things for which I’m thankful every day, in the morning. It’s amazing what one begins to see!
You don’t need anything more in order to enjoy the abundant life that is yours because of Jesus’ life, death and resurrection. Remember you baptism, and rejoice at the grace and love of God that has been poured into your life.