Saturday, March 22, 2008

October 29, 2007

A “Go with God” moment:

Have you read the Christological hymn in Colossians 1 recently? I just read it with a Greek class this week and was overwhelmed by its majestic yet practical truth.
He is the image of the invisible God,
the firstborn of all creation.
For by him all things were created,
in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible,
whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—
all things were created through him and for him.
And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together.
And he is the head of the body, the church.

He is the beginning,
the firstborn from the dead,
that in everything he might be preeminent.
For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell,
and through him to reconcile to himself all things,
whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.

Note how I have divided it into two distinct sections. The first section (1:15-18a) describes Jesus as Creator. The second, 1:18b-20 describes His Christological acts as our Redeemer. Would you allow me to impose another way to state Paul’s description of Him, Re-Creator. Now, there is so much here that we could look at this passage for weeks…but let me mention just one or two nuggets which cause me to pause and reflect upon. In the passage I have underlined two subjects of sentences; “all things”. This obviously is plural, meaning Paul is referring to more than one thing. Simple, right? Wrong! The subject “all things” is plural while the verb is singular. Not a big deal, except that in Greek grammar, subjects and verbs must agree. Unless, if Paul might be teaching us that in creation, “all things” are not disconnected from one another. Is it possible that originally, creation was so intimately linked that “all things” hold together as one singular entity? God’s grand design is that all was so wonderfully ordered and linked, that we (people, animals, trees, etc) were made as one! If that is true, then I can see the real un-godly-ness of being self-centered. Could selfishness actually be defined as an act of “un-creation?” I wonder the implication of such things?

In the text, I have also boldfaced two verbs that seem exactly the same…and they are identical in English. Not so in Greek. The first verb “were created” is an aorist passive (sorry for sounding like a Greek-geek). Simply, a passive verb means that the subject, “all things”, was the recipient of the action of “creating.” The things did not act or become “created on their own.” There was an outside agent. Sorry, no Big-Bang without a Big-God. But the second verb is the one which is pregnant with meaning. It is a perfect passive (apologies again). It could be translated like this, “All things were created and continue to be created.”

Ok, Dave, nice Greek grammar lesson; implications please! Well, you might actually look at the world and your stressed out chaotic life (chaos is biblically seen as the opposite of creation) and draw a conclusion that your life is out of control. Colossians would tell you that you are wrong. Rather, creation (and re-creation) is an ongoing process; and God is intimately linked with it. What appears as chaos (panic attacks over too much to do, too little time, relationships gone array, countless decisions about the future, etc) may actually be an act of on-going creation. Did you notice the interesting phrase, “in him all things hold together?” Please, you may see your life and all its “separate events” as if they are spinning out of control, being cast off into chaos, and there is no way out…but you would be wrong. Rather “all things” (which include you) are being carefully crafted into God’s plan for creation. Maybe, rather than looking for an escape, pause and take a long look at where you are; right in the midst of HIS creative hand. And please, not as an individual. No lone-ranger-creationists. You are being engrafted into His larger plan for you this very minute. Appearances can be deceiving. I promise you, and Paul promises you that there is divine order in what appears to be chaos.

My world is too stressed to bring Glory to You.
Panic seems to rule my life; not Your peace.
Please Lord, give me a clear sense that Your hand is in mine,
May I have eyes to see where knowledge of You as Creator might bring calm
May Creation and Your purpose in it rule over my perception of chaos
In the past Lord, I have only seen hope if you would stand in the bow on my boat and rebuke the winds and the waves of my life.
Today, Lord would You do the miracle of miracles…
Would You welcome me to take a nap with You in the stern of the boat while the storm rages.
May I find Peace, Your Peace.

Now, Go with God

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