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Posts Tagged ‘micro & macro world’


Colossians 1:15-20Christ is Reality

Friday, July 6, 2018

Paul had not visited the town of Colossae but was invited to write a letter by Epaphras, the man  who established this Christian community.  False teachers abounded in those days even as they do now; and we understand that many false teachers connected Christ more with the universe or cosmos than with God.  They taught about angels and demons, “principalities and powers”; they were often connected with cults.  Paul makes a central point in the anthem we read today and he restates this position throughout his letter to the Colossians: “Such teachings are but ‘shadows’; Christ is ‘reality’.” (Senior 318)

Commentary will tell us that Paul likely used an early Christian hymn that was already known to the Colossians as a basis for these poetic verses.  This is a technique used by many teachers to connect the audience with the message and Paul has used these few lines well to explain the true nature of Christ.  Looking at this citation as a liturgical song, we can understand its power to draw the listener in . . . and we may find ourselves drawn in as well to the person Paul describes . . . the very real and human Jesus Christ . . . made in the image of the invisible God.    

There is so much ambient light in our modern world that it has become difficult to see the night sky.  This may be dangerous for us as we can easily imagine that we are the immenseness and that the sky does not exist.  As we sat on the lawn several evenings ago to watch the 4th of July fireworks, a small creature crawled onto my ankle . . . and for some reason I began to think about the odd juxtaposition of the immense and booming displays above us with the little kingdoms that exist beneath the earth.  Any gardener will tell us that there are worlds teeming beneath the grass and stones.  Many of us may hire out the grass cutting and weeds pulling and so we have lost track of these many, under-foot worlds . . . and this too, may be dangerous.  With all the comfort and convenience we buy, it is no wonder that we have made ourselves the gods and have ignored the micro and macro worlds.  We have convinced ourselves that we can do as we like . . . and that no consequences will follow our actions.  We know this to be dangerous thinking . . . we know this to be false teaching . . . we know this to be a world of shadows.

Christ is our reality.  Yes, we say, we know this well.  Yet . . . what do our interactions with one another say about this belief?  How do we demonstrate our understanding of the universe beneath us that we have paved over and walk on daily?  How do we show our respect for the skies above us and all they contain when we send heavy metals into the atmosphere without worrying?  How do we show God and one another that we understand the importance of water, the essence of life as we know it, when we daily misuse and pollute this precious resource?  How do we demonstrate that we are fully aware and even joyful that Christ lives in each of us just as we live in him?  How do we show God that we understand our proper alignment with all the components of creation, and that we appreciate the gift of life he has freely given to each of us?

I have heard people complain that God no longer holds meaning for them.  They have decided that God does not exist.  I have heard people complain that life is too difficult.  They have decided that because they cannot see the stars at night they do not exist.  I have heard people complain that life has little or no meaning.  They have decided that there are no worlds other than the small and narrow space in which they are living.  They have forgotten that we must set out anew each day to find Christ . . . for there is our reality. When the student is ready, the teacher appears . . .

The Lord will give you the bread you need and the water for which you thirst.  No longer will your Teacher hide himself, but with your own eyes you shall see your Teacher, while from behind, a voice shall sound in your ears: “This is way; walk in it,” when you would turn to the right or the left.  (Isaiah 30:20-21)

The world we touch and taste, see, hear and smell is a shadow of what truly is.  Christ is the reality.  He lives in us most lovingly . . . let us live in him as if we mean it.

Senior, Donald, ed. THE CATHOLIC STUDY BIBLE. New York, Oxford University Press, 1990.318. Print.


Image from: http://classjtobias.wikispaces.com/

We will be away from the Internet for several days. Please enjoy this reflection first posted on July 6, 2011.

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