Read Colossians 1.15-23
A woman with three children depends on the support of her husband. She is left to fend for herself and her family when he dies unexpectedly. She feels weak, unable to make it on her own. Who does she turn to?
A man feels stuck in his low-wage job. He enrolls in a community college and becomes weary, exhausted by the demands of both work and school. In the frustration of waiting for things to change, he wants to quit. Who does he turn to?
A college student becomes caught up in the futility of life. She lacks direction. Friends come and go. Her parents pressure her to perform. She tries her best, but she has lost all pleasure, the delight she used to feel over life. Who does she turn to?
When we feel weak, when we become impatient, when we lack joy, it’s easy to struggle alone. It’s easy to give up. It’s easy to give in to despair. What is much more difficult is to have hope.
Christ alone is our hope. Often, we can become burdened by the thought that through our efforts, we are holding things together -at home, at work, at school. We expend a lot of energy trying to hold things together and become exhausted or burned out when things fall apart. Suddenly our children act out, our co-workers disappoint us, our friend lets us down. Who do we turn to? Where is our help? Our hope? Christ and Christ alone holds all things together.
This is where we start in our faith. Christ is the foundation on which anything we do as a community of faith, or as individual believers, must be built if it is to stand and take root. If we build on any other foundation, we are like the house that is built on shifting sand. Though it may stand for a short while, it will in time slide and fall to the ground. Christ is the one from whom all creation comes into being. Christ alone is our sure foundation
What does this have to do with somebody who is desperate to provide for her children? Someone struggling to balance a present job and a future career? Someone unable to find her way through life?
What it says is not that we are helpless to impact on our world. We are involved with Christ, Christ is in us, working through us, providing us what is necessary to share in the inheritance of God’s love. In Christ, heaven and earth meet, so that we can do more than we could possibly do on our own. The strength of the Holy Spirit, transforms our lives, and gives them meaning and purpose.
In Christ, a bridge is built between heaven and earth. Through Christ, we are able to taste a little bit of heaven. God meets humanity in Christ. Through Christ – God’s power gives us strength. God’s patience provides us endurance. The joy of God moves us to delight in Him and His works in the world.
Christ holds us together. Christ is the head of the body. The Spirit of Christ builds us up sustains us and gives us direction. This Spirit lives in all who have received Christ. The Spirit of Christ is in all. The power of Christ is able to conquer even death.
The challenge for all believers is to not become discouraged by the ways in which it seems things aren’t what they used to be. Instead, we are encouraged to look around and become aware of the ways in which Christ is still alive and working through us today. Not to become overwhelmed when we wonder how we can provide for our family. Not to give up when we struggle with life’s demands. Not to lose hope when we are unable to find purpose and meaning.
We may feel weak. We may be impatient. We may lack joy. But God, through Christ,supplies us the power, the patience and the peace to continue to witness to God’s amazing love.