January 19, 2022
Colossians 1:15-20 NIV
The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. 16 For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. 17 He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18 And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. 19 For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, 20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.
Good morning Anchor Buddies!
ME: Wake up sleeper, and rise from the dead. . . .
YOU: And Christ will shine on you!
By the way, that is Ephesians 5:14, in case you were not aware. I learn with my teenaged children that my wake-up call has little effect. So I am switching over to Ephesians 5:14 as my wake-up call, because the Word of God has power and it never returns void. Whether they get out of bed or not, they will have heard the Word of God. After all, it doesn’t say, “Wake up sleeper and get out of bed.” We actually have a much larger problem than that. It says, “rise from the dead.” The most beautiful part of the text, however, is this word “shine.” For my money, it is a bit of a benign English word to use for the Greek term, “epiphauskó” (pronounced ep-ee-fow’-o). You will recognize the related term, “epiphany.”
Ep-ee-fow’-o means something like “Reveal.” Epiphany happens when we finally really see what we have been looking at. This is why we “fix our eyes on Jesus”, “the Word made flesh” because he is himself the source of never ending eternal epiphany, the Revealed One who never stops revealing “the Way and the Truth and the Life,” the Shining One whose very nature it is to shine. I love how Paul puts it to the Christians at Colossae—especially how The Message renders it:
We look at this Son and see the God who cannot be seen. We look at this Son and see God’s original purpose in everything created. For everything, absolutely everything, above and below, visible and invisible, rank after rank after rank of angels—everything got started in him and finds its purpose in him. He was there before any of it came into existence and holds it all together right up to this moment. (Colossians 1:15-ff)
And all of this focus on the Word of God—it is not so we can be better bible students or know more about the Bible. It is that we might know Jesus Messiah as Savior, Lord, Teacher, Friend, and on we could go. If we want to see the perfect expression, explication, and exposition of the Word of God as Scripture we look to Jesus Messiah, the Word of God as second person of the Trinity. Not only do we see the whole counsel of God made manifest in Jesus, he is the one who will instruct and teach us the whole counsel of God as revealed in Scripture.
But let’s keep our eye on the ball, remembering the point of it all—growing in relational abiding union with Jesus himself—who brings us into the embrace of the Father and fills us to overflowing with the Holy Spirit. It is important to grasp the nuance of what we are saying here. Anchoring is not anchoring in a book per se. And it is certainly not amassing more knowledge about the Bible or even “about” God. It is anchoring in the Word who is Jesus who inspired the Word which is Scripture and who reveals himself through the Scriptures and Spirit that we might know him beyond knowledge and that we might be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. And all of this so we, by the grace of God, might become the spitting image of Jesus in and through the distinctive life, personhood and personality he has given to us.
Again Anchor Buddies, “Wake up sleeper, and rise from the dead, . . .
And you say . . . this time with feeling. . . ;0)
Yes, Lord, you are the image of the invisible God—the Word made flesh. I want this Word to be made flesh in me, in my every day walking around life. This will depend on you shining on me and in me and through me. And I know for this to happen, I need to stay awake and yet I can’t even stay awake apart from you. I want to know you more, Jesus. Teach me the Scriptures as you reveal yourself in and through them to me. This is such a mystery and yet you are putting handles on it that I might hold on. I pray in your name, Jesus. Amen.
Are you grasping this clear, simple and yet nuanced relationship between the Word made flesh as Jesus and the Word as revealed through Holy Scripture? How would you articulate it in your own words? Does it help you keep your eye on the ball? ;0)
For the Awakening,