View print-optimized version
Monday, April 15, 2013
Today’s Reading | Colossians 2:6–14
As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving.
See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the universe, and not according to Christ. 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. (NRSV)
What a rich jumble of metaphors we have in our text for reflection today.
Circumcision as a metaphor for baptism, linking initiation into the church with becoming part of God’s covenant people; burial as a metaphor for the experience of baptism; and new life in the risen Christ as metaphor for life after baptism. Then in the crescendo of these images, that of our sin and brokenness being forgiven by their being nailed to the cross.
We see the cross then not as instrument of torture and death but as instrument of our liberation from lives lived according to the way of the world and transformed into lives lived in Christ Jesus.
We need metaphors because as we live into this season of Easter we are living into the great mystery of our faith—as we say during communion:
Christ has died. Christ is risen. Christ will come again.
This is not a claim to be explained using theological terms and systems. It is a proclamation whose truth emerges as we claim the call that Jesus places upon us—to be reborn as people of peace, love, and justice; as Easter people caring for the least of the sisters and brothers among us, for it is for this purpose that Christ has freed us from the bonds of self-centeredness, greed, and hopelessness. Thanks be to God.
Christ is alive, no longer bound
To distant years in Palestine,
But saving, healing, here and now,
And touching every place and time.
(from the hymn “Christ Is Alive!” by Brian Wren)
Reflection written by Calum I. MacLeod, Executive Associate Pastor and Head of Staff
Devotion index by date | I’d like to receive daily devotions by email