In disorienting and polarizing times, how do we maintain our center? In disconcerting and alarming times, what empowers us to overcome our fears? In discouraging and cynical times, what provides us hope for tomorrow? In times of childish and caustic behaviors, how may we gain the maturity we need to live with wisdom and grace?
I think most would agree that the year 2020 has sharpened the relevance of all of these questions for us. The New Testament letter to the Colossians provides timely and powerful answers to each of these questions. In Colossians, Paul rhapsodizes how the Lord Jesus Christ is at the center of everything, how heaven and earth were created in him, through him, and for him. In Colossians, Paul dispels the fears of ancient Christians who were tempted to find security in other ancient gods and “powers.” In Colossians, Paul describes the future hopes of Jesus-followers as an accomplished fact, saying “your life is hidden with Christ in God.” In Colossians, Paul provides one of the best descriptions of the before and after journey of spiritual formation in all of Scripture, with very practical admonitions for our new “wardrobe” of virtues.
Integral to every question Colossians wrestles to answer is the Lord Jesus Christ, whose portrayal is decidedly high and exalted, as the unifying center of all creation and all humankind. We will be well served to spend time this fall with the letter to the Colossians, which will help us be more centered and less fearful, more hopeful and less immature, all through seeing the Lord Jesus Christ afresh.