Tumbling in the Sand
The texts for Sunday, November 24, 2013 (Christ the King Sunday or the Reign of Christ): Jeremiah 23:1–6; Psalm 46 (though, we’re using the semi-continuous option for the psalm: Luke 1:68–79); Colossians 1:11–20; and Luke 23:33–43.
“For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell” – Colossians 1:19
I think I’ve probably written and preached about this before, but I cannot help but be overwhelmed at this statement of faith.
Do you realize how crazy this idea is?
Even Christians who say, “yes, Jesus was God enfleshed” still think of God as something more than what Jesus revealed.
We still want to know where God was in that hurricane, as though God’s actions are only found in miracles and disasters.
We still want to claim that God sends judgement down from above because of sins. “Oh be careful little feet where you go…”
We want God to be all knowing, all powerful, all everything and expect God to exercise that power over others, over creation, over our enemies.
We even sort of buy into the idea of an “action figure god” complete with machine gun. Really. See here: Almighty God Action Figure Yes, it’s a spoof, but it is still not far beyond our understanding of a God that could just step in and destroy the “bad guys” sort of thinking—and really the entire “Left Behind” “Apocalypse” “God’s gonna come back and hurt you so you’d better behave/convert/believe” thinking is based on a god who doesn’t need a machine gun, but still acts like he has one (and, in this culture that god is always male).
But what if the fullness of God really dwelt in Jesus? What if the full glory of God is revealed in the human life, death, and resurrection of Jesus the Christ?
I mean, Jesus didn’t exactly smite people. He forgave them.
Jesus didn’t exactly demand loyalty or obeisance. He sent those he healed on their way and washed Judas’ feet.
Jesus didn’t exactly exercise power over. He touched the hurting and the sick and offered healing.
Jesus didn’t exactly send down judgement from on high. He held out a hand to the woman caught in adultery and sent her to “sin no more.”
Jesus didn’t exactly show up as we might expect God to show up. No. Jesus hung on a cross. In the midst of suffering. In the midst of sorrow. In the midst of abuse.
Jesus didn’t exactly reveal the glory of God in dazzling arrays of light or beauty. Instead, with his last breath, he whispered forgiveness and promised paradise. Today. Now.
What if that is the full glory of God?