~Frederick Buechner, A Room Called Remember: Uncollected Pieces
Colossians 2:6-19 (Common English Bible)
So live in Christ Jesus the Lord in the same way as you received him. Be rooted and built up in him, be established in faith, and overflow with thanksgiving just as you were taught.
See to it that nobody enslaves you with philosophy and foolish deception, which conform to human traditions and the way the world thinks and acts rather than Christ. All the fullness of deity lives in Christ’s body. And you have been filled by him, who is the head of every ruler and authority. You were also circumcised by him. This wasn’t performed by human hands—the whole body was removed through this circumcision by Christ. You were buried with him through baptism and raised with him through faith in the power of God, who raised him from the dead. When you were dead because of the things you had done wrong and because your body wasn’t circumcised, God made you alive with Christ and forgave all the things you had done wrong. He destroyed the record of the debt we owed, with its requirements that worked against us.He canceled it by nailing it to the cross. When he disarmed the rulers and authorities, he exposed them to public disgrace by leading them in a triumphal parade.
So don’t let anyone judge you about eating or drinking or about a festival, a new moon observance, or sabbaths. These religious practices are only a shadow of what was coming—the body that cast the shadow is Christ. Don’t let anyone who wants to practice harsh self-denial and worship angels rob you of the prize. They go into detail about what they have seen in visions and have become unjustifiably arrogant by their selfish way of thinking. They don’t stay connected to the head. The head nourishes and supports the whole body through the joints and ligaments, so the body grows with a growth that is from God.
The letter to the church in Colossae makes it apparent the church is struggling and they need some help to get back on track. Societal influences are making it difficult to keep their focus on what matters.
This is not so unlike the church today. We struggle with societal influences as we enjoy what the world has to offer us. We attempt to walk the road of faith knowing there are curves to maneuver, mountains to climb, and stop signs planted when we least want to adhere to their direction. I sometimes wish there were a Faith App that would make this process easier.
This letter to the Colossains is packed full of rich commentary and the small selection we are focusing on for Sunday is bursting with topics from which we could choose. The one thing that I have continued to see in this text as I've poured over it this week is about remembering.
As we look to our future, we cannot move forward without understanding our past. We continue to tell the biblical narratives because they matter to us. They give us a history. They give us a foundation. They give our lives meaning. We find hope, faith, grace, love, and so much more in the biblical text.
How do we know who we are without remembering from where we come? I wonder if this is what Paul and Timothy are getting at when they address the church in Colossae? And I wonder if their message to this church holds a message to us today?
Join us as we discuss these questions and more on Sunday morning. Your voice and your presence is important to us at Overland Park Christian Church.