It takes only a few seconds of scrolling through social media to see that our country is filled with injustice, privilege, violence, fighting, finger pointing, and distrust. Maybe you, like me, find yourself asking “God, where is the justice? Where is the grace?” almost every minute of the day these days. I feel emotionally exhausted praying constantly for justice, for reconciliation, for peace. And yet, I know that what I am feeling is only a fraction of what my black brothers and sisters are feeling and have felt for a while.
Last week we talked about the reconciling power of Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross. Steph urged us to allow Jesus’ reconciliation to transform our own hearts and to then allow his work of reconciliation to spread outwards. So how do we actually do that in a fast-paced culture that demands instant action? How do we allow Jesus’ reconciliation to not just inform our actions in the present, but to transform our actions in the future?
Colossians 2:6-10, 13-15
6 So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, 7 rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness. 8 See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual forces of this world rather than on Christ. 9 For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, 10 and in Christ you have been brought to fullness. He is the head over every power and authority.
13 When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, 14 having canceled the charge of our legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us; he has taken it away, nailing it to the cross. 15 And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.
Questions to Consider
- What does it mean to be rooted and built up in Christ? In what ways do you feel rooted and built up in Christ? Are there any areas of your life or thought life that are not rooted in Christ?
- What does Paul urge the Colossians to be on guard against? Why do you think he urges them against this?
- What is the significance of Jesus “nailing [our legal indebtedness] to the cross” (v. 14)?
- Paul reminds the Colossians multiple times that Jesus has conquered all evil and darkness (v. 10 and v. 15). Why do you think he does this? What is the significance of this? Where have you been able to see this truth in your own life? Where are you still longing to be able to see this truth in your life?
Paul encourages the Colossians to continue to remind themselves of the truth of Jesus in a time when many people were trying to sway them away from it. Multiple parties tried to convince the Colossians that Jesus was not who he said he was, but Paul reminds them of Christ’s identity as the Savior. He reminds them that it is Christ who reconciled them to the Father when they were dead in their sins. He reminds them that Jesus has dominion over all things. He also reminds them that strong faith comes from rooting themselves in the truth of who Jesus is.
These things are true for us, too as we each try to navigate our part in today’s social landscape. We are all reacting differently to what is going on in our society and we are all in different places of processing our reactions. That’s okay. Paul’s letter reminds us that no matter where we are at Jesus sees us (v.13), Jesus cares about us (v. 13-14), Jesus has conquered evil (v.14-15), and Jesus has new life for us (v. 10 and 13).
Just as Paul encourages the Colossians, we are invited to root ourselves in Jesus as we seek lasting transformation in our hearts that will lead to acts of reconciliation in the world and our relationships as well. If you feel weary or angered, that’s okay, bring it to Jesus. If you feel traumatized or scared, that’s okay too, you can mourn and lament with Jesus. If you feel confused and don’t quite understand all that is going on, that’s okay, learn with Jesus and ask him for the eyes to understand other perspectives. If you feel convicted, that’s okay, Jesus has already forgiven you and wants to walk with you as you learn.
In today’s fast-paced, social media-heavy society it is all too easy for us to engage in something online but never let it transform our hearts. God has so much more for all of us in this season! Be with Jesus. Spend time with him. Allow him into the journey of your processing. Allow his ministry of reconciliation to transform your heart so that you can partake in it out in the world.