Monday 28th September 2020
Colossians – Christ alone is head
Colossians 2: 9 – 15
For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily, and you have come to fullness in him, who is the head of every ruler and authority. In him also you were circumcised with a spiritual circumcision, by putting off the body of the flesh in the circumcision of Christ; when you were buried with him in baptism, you were also raised with him through faith in the power of God, who raised him from the dead. And when you were dead in trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you alive together with him, when he forgave us all our trespasses, erasing the record that stood against us with its legal demands. He set this aside, nailing it to the cross. He disarmed the rulers and authorities and made a public example of them, triumphing over them in it.
This passage on first reading can be somewhat confusing and baffling! It also seems very focused on physical things and the physicality of Christ and its spiritual parallels and one can get a little bogged down in it all. Indeed C.F.D.Mould, in his commentary, suggests 5 different attempts at unravelling this. We also need to have an understanding of the ‘mindset’ of the Colossians Paul is writing to which is probably more Jewish in background than other communities. Therefore the discussion about circumcision is of more relevance than a more Gentile church. That is not to say the Gentiles are also not included in this passage ‘God made you alive together with him, when he forgave us all our trespasses’ – it depends where you put the emphasis ‘he forgave us all’ or ‘all our trespasses’. Yet if we get too bogged down we may miss the three essentials: Incarnation, Crucifixion, Resurrection. It echoes the theme of the earlier chapter, ’through him God was pleased to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, by making peace through the blood of his cross’. It is this great wonder of our faith that God has chosen to be us, love us so much to die for us and in the empty tomb promise us that peace and justice will prevail. No ruler or authority can ever compete with the selfless love of God in Christ Jesus. They think they have power and indeed many rulers have, do and will continue to do horrific things to their fellow human beings but that is not and never will be the final word.
We are reconciled people and called to be people of reconciliation in our lives. We are in Christ and Christ is in us; may God continue to work in and through us to his glory.
Generous God we thank you that in being reconciled to you we find our peace and our ‘home’. May we strive to bring peace and reconciliation into our homes, communities and world.
We pray for all who, today, will be unjustly treated or killed. May we dare to speak out against injustice.
Incarnate, crucified, and living God we ask these prayers through Jesus Christ. Amen