I spent the weekend in deer camp. Had a really good time. Watched a lot of deer go by, thinking I would wait for a better one. Predictably, I regret not taking one the first morning. Even so, we had a really good time.
I like sitting on the stand. Of course, the beauty of nature is something best enjoyed in quiet time. It also gives me pause to reflect on life. I do admit to texting a tad, while my fingers can stay warm. I also read my bible. I have a waterproof ESV that I take with me. It definitely got rained on Saturday. There’s something about reading God’s Word on the stand. I can only read a verse or two at a time before looking around for deer. That’s good because it forces me to slow down and absorb what is written. I read Colossians, particularly chapter 1. More specifically, verses 15-23. Even more specifically than that, verse 19.
Colossians 1:19 For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell,
There is no way I will be able to discourse that verse and give it the honor that it is due. I simply will never have enough words let alone the mastery of language to begin to describe what this means. I suppose it is like art – there are some things that are simply too beautiful to paint, even for Michelangelo.
This section of scripture describes who Jesus is and then who he is in relation to us. Finally, it describes who we are in relation to him. Let’s look at the whole thing.
Colossians 1:15-23 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities – all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.
And you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, he has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before him, if indeed you continue in the faith, stable and steadfast, not shifting from the hope of the gospel that you heard, which has been proclaimed in all creation under heaven and of which I, Paul, became a minister.
Don’t worry if you didn’t soak all that in. I worked on it all weekend and am still working on it today. In fact, I wonder if I didn’t work on it LAST year in my deer stand. In fact, I think I did! Actually, the whole book of Colossians is very rich and worth spending considerable time on. What part of the bible isn’t?
But, there is something about verse 19.
For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell,
What does that mean? It means that we cannot comprehend the scope of Jesus. Yet, we must somehow try. I’m reminded of something that C.S. Lewis had written:
“You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse. You can shut him up for a fool, you can spit at him and kill him as a demon or you can fall at his feet and call him Lord and God, but let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about his being a great human teacher. He has not left that open for us. He did not intend to.” From Mere Christianity
My mind races along through the bible at all Jesus has done – all the miracles, the demons proclaiming his identity, his resurrection. How about all the prophecy, both fulfilled and yet to be? How about the entirety of the Old Testament, the encounters with The Angel of the Lord? EVERYTHING about God the Father is in this one man, Jesus Christ. Yet, he is contained in a body that washes the feet of his friends.
Folks, the entire universe was made through him. And it was made FOR him. This includes you and me. He made us, not the other way around. His is preeminent. That means he is off the charts above us. We may wonder about so many falling as if dead at the sight of God as written about in the scriptures. Once I start thinking about all this stuff, I can’t help but wonder why I’m not flat on my face at the sound of his name. I’m getting there, more and more, the more I ponder verses like this.
I’m reminded of the Mercy Me song, “I Can Only Imagine” in which the writer ponders what he will do when he finally sees Jesus face to face. I’m starting to think I might be a crumpled pile at the Gate of Heaven, unable to move for 10,000 years (ten times that, or more), completely paralyzed at the thought of why God would allow me into his home. I might spend the next 10,000 years (in the same position) pondering Colossians 1:19. What a fool I have been. For some reason, Jesus has had mercy on me. I can’t explain to you why. The only thing I can tell you is that he did.
Can you see why it takes so long to get through these things?
Father, please let some of this sink home to those who read this. Turn their world completely upside down. Amen.
Copyright © 2017 Scott Powers