02 July 2007

Reconciled in his fleshly body. . .

The reading for vespers this evening is taken from Paul’s letter to the Colossians (1.10-21). Though I have read and heard this passage many times, as Fr. Matt read out loud, I was floored by the power and clarity of what Paul is saying to us. I would be willing to argue that this passage, properly unpacked and presented, would make an excellent retreat mediation, or even something like a “mini-catechism” for reflection. Read it out loud and slowly. . .

“…we do not cease praying for you and asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding to live in a manner worthy of the Lord, so as to be fully pleasing, in every good work bearing fruit and growing in the knowledge of God, strengthened with every power, in accord with his glorious might, for all endurance and patience, with joy giving thanks to the Father, who has made you fit to share in the inheritance of the holy ones in light. He delivered us from the power of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For in him were created all things in heaven and on earth, the visible and the invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers; all things were created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. He is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things he himself might be preeminent. For in him all the fullness was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile all things for him, making peace by the blood of his cross (through him), whether those on earth or those in heaven. And you who once were alienated and hostile in mind because of evil deeds he has now reconciled in his fleshly body through his death, to present you holy, without blemish, and irreproachable before him, provided that you persevere in the faith, firmly grounded, stable, and not shifting from the hope of the gospel that you heard, which has been preached to every creature under heaven…”

Print it out. Post it on the inside of your front door or on the visor of your car and read it aloud everyday as you begin your day, remembering especially that you are “ now reconciled in his fleshly body through his death,” and that you have been made presentable, “without blemish…provided that you persevere in the faith…”

Pic credit: Faces of Christ

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