You yourselves are a case study of what he does. At one time you all had your backs turned to God, thinking rebellious thoughts of him, giving him trouble every chance you got. But now, by giving himself completely at the Cross, actually dying for you, Christ brought you over to God's side and put your lives together, whole and holy in his presence. You don't walk away from a gift like that! You stay grounded and steady in that bond of trust, constantly tuned in to the Message, careful not to be distracted or diverted. There is no other Message—just this one. Every creature under heaven gets this same Message. I, Paul, am a messenger of this Message. - Colossians 1:21-23, The Message
When you think about the reality that God has “put your lives together, whole and holy in his presence,” what comes into your mind?
I am struck by the reality that I needed to be put back together. I wrote about this the other day, the sense of dis-ease and dislocation. Our world is so full of ways to help us put ourselves back together. I think we inherently know that we need to be put back together and we enter into deep frustration when we think that we can do it ourselves.
Because we can’t.
We need someone outside ourselves to help us do that. In our day to day, right here and right now this will be people in our community. Those that we allow into our lives can be agents of reconstruction. They can help put us together. The hard part is that they too are in need of being put back together and so, they can also be people who break us apart.
I am learning that one of the most significant things that happens as I follow Christ and trust the Spirit in me, is that there is an ontological change that happens.
What the heck does “ontological” mean? It’s defined like this, “relating to the branch of metaphysics dealing with the nature of being.” Wow, thanks, super helpful. What that’s trying to get at is the “nature of being” thing. When we talk about something from an ontological perspective we are talking what it actually is.
Christ has changed us ontologically. Christ’s work of reconciliation has changed the very nature of who and what we are. When we can recognize the reality of what has happened, that we have been put back together it frees us to experience that put-back-togetherness.
Have you noticed that when you’re around people who are what we might call, “comfortable in their own skin,” you too experience a greater sense of being comfortable? Why do you think that is? I think it’s because on that deeper level of being they don’t need anything from you or me. This is the effect of what Christ has done.
You see, in Christ the reality is that we are not broken. In Christ we are put back together, we are whole and holy. The work that we have to do is moving towards that reality and experiencing it. When we surround ourselves with people who are seeking to do the same, we become people who reveal as opposed to people who reconstruct. That change of role for ourselves and our community frees us to love more deeply and live even more honestly with one another.
What stands out to you in this passage? What resonates? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments.