Today’s Reading: Colossians 2:3-10
It seems like we’re getting more and more scam phone calls coming through in recent months. Often, these scammers try and convince us that we have a major problem, but that they can provide a solution for us very easily and very quickly, for just a small amount of money. They might claim to be from Telstra, the NBN, Microsoft or even the tax department. And they’re convincing. They keep doing it because they get enough people who pay them to solve their (actually non-existent) problems.
Writing to the Colossians, Paul was very aware that there are many “scam” worldviews and religions out there. One of Paul’s key messages to us is that Jesus Christ is supreme and central to everything. Everything was created through and for Him. He is the One who sustains everything. He is the head of His Church. He is the One who defeated death – the first among those who will rise from the dead. In everything and in every way, Jesus Christ is first. He is God incarnate – God become man. And He has acted to forgive us and reconcile us back to Himself – back to the Father. And He lives in us. Nobody would have guessed that God would deal with a rebellious creation like that!
But there are many worldviews – many philosophies and religions – that don’t put Jesus as central. We live in a secular country – where many people reject the idea of Jesus being God. Quite a few people think that there is nothing more to creation than the physical – that the supernatural is just a figment of human imagination. Several years back now, there was even a group who met to reconstruct the historical Jesus. They did this by stripping the gospels of anything supernatural, on the assumption that the supernatural doesn’t occur.
Everyone worships something – everyone has something or someone (or many things!) at the centre of their lives. For some, it’s religion. For some it’s a particular political persuasion. For some it’s economics. For some it’s power. For some it’s a relationship. We look to these things to give our life purpose and meaning and fulfilment.
But as Christians, we have come to see that Jesus is who He says He is. He is Lord of all. He is King of Kings. He is our Creator and Redeemer. And we recognise that He alone (who is central in everything) should be the centre of our lives.
But we are constantly being tempted to supplant Jesus with other ways of living and looking at the world. So Paul urges us to keep on following Christ – to keep on being built up in Him – and to be strengthened in our faith. In other words, Paul urges us to choose continually to follow Jesus and stay true to the One who alone is true. We need to be standing firm in the faith, not allowing ourselves to be deceived or taken captive by what might seem wise, but which ultimately is empty.
Jesus is God in the flesh. And if we are united with Him, then we have all that we need. Nothing else can make God love us more. Nothing else can bring us to God. Nothing else can provide meaning to our existence. So let’s keep our eyes on Jesus – and not fall prey to any scam that offers anything other than Him.