You can be in a close relationship with God – Colossians 1:20-23, Part 1

What is broken in your life?  I hate to start off this week’s blog posts on such a dark note, but so many of us have broken relationships, broken situations, and they really concern us, taking loads of emotional energy, time and sometimes money.  How do we heal what is broken? I think about ourContinue reading “You can be in a close relationship with God – Colossians 1:20-23, Part 1”

How God wants to fix our broken world – Colossians 1:15-20

All things are in need of reconciliation. True or False? Just for the sake of argument, assume that statement is true. Why do all things need reconciliation?  Because things are broken.  You reconcile when you have a broken relationship.  Something happened.  Relationships break apart in all sorts of ways, right?  From small slights to massiveContinue reading “How God wants to fix our broken world – Colossians 1:15-20”

Jesus was God or was filled by God? (and other humans can be filled by God too?) – Colossians 1:15-20, Part 4

Through the ages, one hotly debated topic in theology is how much of God is in Jesus, and how much of Jesus is in God? Paul talks about this. As we continue studying Colossians 1:15-20, Paul shifts the focus to the church, using body imagery.  Jesus is the head of the church.  We are hisContinue reading “Jesus was God or was filled by God? (and other humans can be filled by God too?) – Colossians 1:15-20, Part 4”

Is Jesus creator or created? – Colossians 1:15-20

Paul says that Jesus is the firstborn over all creation. What does Paul mean? It is a bit of a strange statement. Firstborn over all creation? Turn to Colossians 1:15-20, which we have been studying in a five-part series this week, starting here. If the statement “firstborn over creation” isn’t already strange enough, based onContinue reading “Is Jesus creator or created? – Colossians 1:15-20”

Christians were the first atheists? – Colossians 1:15-20, Part 2

In the first post in this series, we talked about what Jesus might have looked like. Paul in Colossians 1:15-20 says that Jesus is the image or icon of the invisible God. There are many ways that we English-speakers use the word “icon,” and one way is found in the Orthodox church paintings called icons.Continue reading “Christians were the first atheists? – Colossians 1:15-20, Part 2”

What did Jesus look like? – Colossians 1:15-20, Part 1

What image comes to mind when you think about what Jesus might look like?  Through the centuries, artists have created thousands and thousands of possibilities.  For many Americans, the classic image is what might be called the White Jesus.  Some of you might have a picture of the White Jesus hanging in your homes.  ItContinue reading “What did Jesus look like? – Colossians 1:15-20, Part 1”

What God requires of you to enter his Kingdom – Colossians 1:9-14, Part 5

I love traveling internationally, collecting immigration stamps from other countries in my passport. Maybe you’ve caught that bug too, or you dream about it. I know this is a distinctly first-world privilege, as so many around the world have little realistic opportunity for such travel. But permit me to describe it. For citizens of theContinue reading “What God requires of you to enter his Kingdom – Colossians 1:9-14, Part 5”

What happened when I submitted a regular quarterly report, and my boss and my boss’s boss both responded – Colossians 1:9-14, Part 1

What does God expect of us?  Does he expect a lot?  A little?  Is there some way we can measure it?  And does he expect us to accomplish it on our own?  There are so many different expressions of Christianity that it can be confusing to know what God wants. Take gathered, corporate worship onContinue reading “What happened when I submitted a regular quarterly report, and my boss and my boss’s boss both responded – Colossians 1:9-14, Part 1”

Finding grace and peace – Colossians 1:1-8, Part 3

What are so many people in the world looking for, deep down inside? They are looking for things to be right. They want their lives to feel right. They want to feel wholeness. But where do we find it? I would suggest Paul gives us a clue in the greeting he writes in his letterContinue reading “Finding grace and peace – Colossians 1:1-8, Part 3”

Calling people “holy” or “saints” – Colossians 1:1-8, Part 2

What do you think about calling a person “holy”? To many of us, calling people “holy” sounds wrong. Only God is truly holy, not people, right?  If we happen to use the word “holy” about a person, we might be describing them as, “holier than thou,” and we’re not complimenting them.  Paul, however, uses “holy”Continue reading “Calling people “holy” or “saints” – Colossians 1:1-8, Part 2″