Monday, December 17, 2012

Powerful Words

... having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith in the powerful working of God, who raised him from the dead.  And you who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven all our trespasses, by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands.  This he set aside, nailing it to the cross.  He disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in him.

Therefore let no one pass judgement on you...                          - Colossians 2:12-16

Just as soon as I think I've found a new favorite passage of scripture, I pick up my Bible and find another one.  Through my times of discouragement, one of the things that happens to me is sort of defeatist attitude towards scripture.  "I've read it all.  It doesn't have anything new to say.  I probably will just read it and feel more guilty."

But then I read a passage like this and, I don't know whether it's the coffee I just drank or what, but the gospel just explodes off the page.  And as I wipe gospel shrapnel off my face, I'm thinking, "Wow, that is really, really good.  I wish I believed it more."

I mean, just to think that I was really buried and put to death with Christ in baptism, raised with him by faith, made alive with God in him, totally forgiven, debt nailed to a cross, in a demonstration of power that put all earthly rulers and authorities to open shame, in order that no one (including myself) should pass judgement on me.

Boy, a covering that thorough, a covering of rightness and goodness that is so infused with God's affection towards me, is good, good news.

Often I don't believe that I am lovable.  And when I look at the old me that was buried, I realize that I'm not.  But God shows his staggering love in this, that he loves the unlovable, and not only loves, but moves towards, dies in love, washes in love, and fights in love for me.

And this is for you.  May you rejoice in the powerful words of the gospel this Christmas.  And if they've grown tired and weary to you as they are so often to me, my hope is that you'll hold to them until you hear them afresh, and they grow deeper into you.  Merry Christmas!