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2016.07.24 Trinity 9

SERMON (based on Colossians 2:6-19)

 

After the Service of  Confirmation on Thursday, it seems appropriate today to set our main focus on the letter to the Colossians. Here the author explores the fullness of life in Christ and our passage this morning begins:

 

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  abounding in thanksgiving”

 

Live in Christ, abounding in thanksgiving. Here we see the vitality, the energy, and the aliveness of following Christ (discipleship). Here we see the constant movement towards the kingdom of God. But here is also a little cautionary note

 

If all we have is the vitality, and the aliveness of faith,  without roots/foundations, then we have no stability or commitment to our lives. If all we have is roots and foundations . without vitality,  aliveness and change, then we are caught in a tangle, in a  swamp of tradition, of habit and ritual.

 

The author of Colossians then goes on to say this:  “In him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily, and you have come to fullness in him

 

The whole fullness of God is embodied (exists) in Jesus. Those who are baptised,  those who are followers of Jesus, participate in the fullness of God through 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.

 

Something remarkable seems to have happened at the cross. Not only to Jesus, but through him to us (You/Me) who participate in the fullness of God through Christ. At the cross is nailed all that stood against us, all that held us guilty, all that would strip us of the fullness of life in God, all our misbehaviour, all our wrong doing, all our disobedience, all are forgiven. No one gets to rule us out of the kingdom ever again!

 

There can little doubt that that the author of Colossians believes baptism is the single most powerful moment in a Christian’s life. Baptism somehow catches us up in the power of Christ’s death and resurrection. Once you are baptized in the power of the Holy Spirit, it’s almost as though you need to send out the spiritual equivalent of a “Change of Address” card, because Colossians teaches us that after baptism, we are spiritually relocated.

 

Rowan Williams, ex archbishop of Canterbury once said, and I paraphrase, what Jesus did on the cross and in rising from the dead, created a whole new situation in the cosmos. There was an actual shift in the universe’s balance of power.

 

The reality of the daily news, the busyness and balance of our lives, the need for ever more fancy gadgets, the passion that politics stirs up in us . . all of this can seem more real, more substantial, more compelling, than anything that the waters of baptism ever made possible for us.

 

Colossians reminds us of one idea to which we need to return again and again. Remember your baptism and be thankful. Colossians tells us that in Christ, all the fullness of God dwells in bodily form. Because we are now “in Christ” we have been given the fullness of Jesus, which by extension means we share in the fullness of God himself!

 

It’s so utterly unimaginable, but the fact is that even those of us who were baptized as infants were given, way back then, a share in the fullness of Christ. But we must remember this

Our baptismal filling up of God’s power does not puff us up in self-important pride. The more of God we have in us, the more humble we are, and the more  intrigued we are by the idea of serving one another in humble and unassuming love.

 

Baptism fills us up but it does not puff us up. Baptism brings us into Christ but only so that we may serve others, so that they too may desire to enter into that glorious new cosmic situation that we now call home

 

Amen


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