Friday, 26 October 2007

Putting it together

"For many, Jesus was presented to them as the solution to a problem...
It's not that it is
wrong; it's just that Jesus is so much more.
(The common approach, essentially is that)God comes up with a way to fix our problem (sin) by

sending Jesus, who came to the world to give us a way out of the mess we find we are in...
But the first Christians didn't see Jesus this way - as if God were somewhere else.
They believed that Jesus was
Lord (of creation), that He was present as the Son before creation and had been a part of the story all along." Rob Bell - Velvet Elvis.

I'd forgotten how much goes into sorting out a holiday, especially when there's a few of you going away. It's not just the accommodation and the flights, there's the insurance, the travel connections and pick-ups and making sure it all ties together - no wonder some people feel they need a break after the holiday! The reason we do all of this, of course, is because of the goal - the destination. A week of stunning views and engaging places, new people, a cascade of enriching new experiences. How demoralizing, then, when something goes wrong, especially if it's because of something we've forgotten to do or remember. It can ruin the best laid plans.

The same is true regarding what could be defined as the 'truth that is in Jesus Christ'. Christianity really is not just about some kind of 'above and beyond' belief that saves our souls.
Yes, when we genuinely encounter Christ, it will be something that changes us in a manner that is total and astonishing, just as it did so many times in the Gospels, but that in many ways is but the first page in a revelation that will grow as we unpack what the message of scripture is really seeking to express.

In the opening of the book of Colossians, for example, we read how Jesus Christ is the creator and sustainer of the physical order of all things, and if we go on to glean the gems that derive in this and the following chapters regarding both the nature of God, revealed through Him, and the real value of that creation, then we begin to understand just how comprehensive the message of Christianity really is.

Let's make sure, then, that as well as our 'passport', we have everything else to make such a journey as full and as rich as it was intended to be; that we may, as Paul puts it, be 'thoroughly furnished" in the faith.

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