We had a most excellent second session last night, going through Paul’s letter to the church in Colossae – I thoroughly recommend you join with us if you can for the remaining two (Monday 17th and 24th June).
‘I am now rejoicing in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I am completing what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions for the sake of His body, that is, the church. I became its servant according to God’s commission that was given to me for you, to make the word of God fully known, the mystery that has been hidden throughout the ages and generations but has now been revealed to His saints.
To them God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.’
(Colossians 1 v. 24 – 28)
Having focused on who Jesus is (the glorious poem / hymn in chapter one extolling Christ’s supremacy, the source of all creation and all of the new creation), this next section focuses on all that He has achieved, most notably through ‘the cross’
So, week two, I’ve named ‘ALL ABOUT THE CROSS’.
First, Paul identifies his current sufferings as a continuation of the physical sufferings of Jesus, reflected in His body, the Church.
Paul’s commission is to make the full gospel fully known – he works tirelessly and bravely to that end.
There is much talk in this letter about ‘mystery’ – and it may be a hint to the various philosophies and gnostic theologies, which demanded that special spiritual insight beyond what can be known in and through Christ Jesus, was required.
Paul is keen to shut down these extra influences and proclaim that Jesus is the revealed mystery, His life in us is all the mystery-solving we’ll ever need.
The wonderful phrase ‘Christ in you – the hope of glory’ is an intriguing shorthand phrase summarising the gospel. The Spirit comes to dwell within us, to enable us to be ‘in Christ’, and perfect us, day by day.
come, dwell within me,
illuminate my life
revealing to me, the long-hidden mystery of
life ‘in Christ’.
May I assist in making You known,
in teaching the full gospel
and sharing the hope of glory
which You, alone, bring to life in me.