This morning’s routine was thrown out of whack because of the holiday. God bless the good folks at Zippy’s for putting up with people like me early each Sunday. Instead, I had a quick breakfast at Starbucks before heading to church.
I spent some time writing and thinking about the new year. I was greatly encouraged by the Epistle reading from the daily office. From Colossians 2 (ESV):
Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving.
See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits[a] of the world, and not according to Christ. For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily, and you have been filled in him, who is the head of all rule and authority. In him also you were circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ, 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.
This passage is, of course, Christmas-y, and points to the incarnation (“for in him the whole fullness of deity swells bodily). It also points to a fifth-act reality for the Christian: that we “have been filled in him,” which is an odd phrase that the NIV renders “and in Christ you have been brought to fullness,” which reads a little easier. Along with that, we who have received Him are to “walk in him,” should be “rooted and built up in him and established in the faith.” “Rooted” and “built up” are two good images to start the new year and to keep in mind during Christmastide. Paul encouraged the Colossian Christians to do this “as [they] were taught” all the while “abounding in thanksgiving.”
A fifth act life is one of avoiding capture from philosophies and ideas not rooted in the truth of Jesus. For those on the outside, this might look like a command to ignorance, which isn’t true at all. It doesn’t mean we cease seeking understanding or stop pursuing engagement with those who think differently. It does mean, I think, that Christians start with what (and Who) they know.
(image from WFUV.org)