JESUS IS THE COSMIC LORD

 

grace place bio photo christine

Christine Coltman, contributor for today’s blog post 

In preparing for this year’s studies in Colossians, I was reading the recommended Mark Meynell book, ‘Colossians and Philemon For You’. In the opening pages the author describes Paul’s claims about Jesus as truly ‘outrageous’. I read it and thought how jarring that was with my Sunday experience of God. I’ve gone to church all my life, surrounded by people who love singing praises to him and learning more about him. We are comfortable, unshocked and perfectly happy. Surely nothing about Jesus is that outrageous?
Then I began to think. How much do I limit God by my comfortable familiarity? Why does the truth about Jesus not blow my mind on a more regular basis? Paul’s claims about Jesus in chapter one of Colossians are big. He is the ‘firstborn over all creation’, the sustainer of everything – God himself. If I was as brave as I should be and told my non-Christian friends exactly what I believe about Jesus, they would be straight-out shocked. Jesus is that cute baby on Christmas cards, right? Yes, and he’s also the cosmic-creating, terrifyingly powerful, fearless ultimate hero who gave his life for me.
You may not know this about me but I love fantasy. Narnia, Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter (and many less well-known novels that I can recommend!). I like big; I like unbelievable – I like high concept fantasies where the incredible happens. Dragons fly, magic is real, one person can save the whole universe. Show me a crime drama, or a soap and I’m not interested. I don’t want to see something that could be happening down the road from me – I want my imagination to soar.
I know I’m not the only one. The success of superhero movies alone show that people have a longing for the incredible. Critics would call it wish-fulfilment; I’d call it our hearts crying out for something more: the inbuilt belief that there is a real superhero out there who really has saved us.
I was never quite sure why fantasy was so appealing to me until I read a quote from Tolkein. He said that myths and fantasies are ‘echoes or memories of the truths that God had originally made known to Adam and Eve’ and that the gospel is ‘the true myth, the great fairy story in which all the elements of the pagan myths find their fulfilment.’
Suddenly it clicked. I like ‘big stories’ because I am part of a big story; the greatest story ever told. I want more because I am built for more. I dream of an incredible land where the unbelievable happens because that is where I am headed; because a God – the one true God – sacrificed himself for me in a cosmic spiritual battle which he won.
Jesus is counter-cultural. He is not comfortable – in fact, he’s pretty unbelievable, and I’m glad of that. I don’t want to stake my life on something small. But there’s also a huge challenge in that. As Mark Meynell says, ‘If Jesus really is the cosmic Lord, then how can we not dedicate every fibre of our being to him and his service?’
‘The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. He is before all things and in him all things hold together.’
Colossians Chapter 1 v 15-17

Advertisements

WHO ARE YOUR FRIENDS?

 

_MG_9161_2015

Sharon Durant, contributor for today’s blog

A few years ago, someone asked me that question. I mentally reviewed my friends — people who grew up on my street, people I was at school with, university, people I worked with, people I saw at the children’s play dates. I know a lot of people! But trying to think of a friend, a true friend, who walks shoulder to shoulder with me in Christ, who reliably keeps in touch and selflessly keeps on loving me and giving me truth? At that moment in my life, I had one.

To my shame, my list of ‘one’ didn’t even include the Lord Jesus! Since I was asked that question, God’s been taking me on a journey of what it means to HAVE friends and what it means to BE a friend. I’ve found two amazing places for friends:

1) Christ! Jesus himself commented that no one has greater love than
laying down their life for a friend (John 15:13). That is exactly what
he did. I offered nothing, there was no favour I could return, I
couldn’t even bring a pudding, but he kindly saw my need of a Saviour
and met it before I even asked. And then, even better, he has the Holy
Spirit is in my life. The Bible describes him as Comforter (John 14:26),
the Guide, the one who points to the Truth (John 16:13) and who walks
with me every day (Galatians 5:25). The hymn writer was right when he
wrote, “What a friend we have in Jesus!”

2) Church! The church is full of people walking in the same spiritual
direction as me, people who are also aware of their own sin but being
FRIENDSHIPchanged to be more holy, like Jesus. I picked up this little book “True
Friendship” (click on true friendship for link)  which gives excellent pointers for how to wisely make and keep friends in church, walking shoulder to shoulder. I have read, studied, re-read, bought and given away this book time and time again; I heartily recommend it! It has helped me to be realistic in what I expect of my friends, and what they can expect from me, and is overflowing with biblical wisdom to be blessed and be a blessing.

So. A question to think about over the summer: Who are your friends?

WOMEN’S BREAKFAST!

ENGLISH BREAKFASTHi ladies! This is just a reminder that we are having our second annual women’s breakfast. This is a perfect time to bring along your friends, and enjoy a time of food and friendship! If you haven’t signed up, no problem! Just let Anne Holmes know!

WHERE: Corsham Baptist Church Hall

WHEN: Saturday, 13 July

TIME: 9:30

SEE YOU THERE!

Picture1

KNOWING GOD

“This is what the Lord says: ‘Don’t let the wise boast in their wisdom, or the powerful boast in their power, or the rich boast in their riches. But those who wish to boast should boast in this alone: that they truly know me and understand that I AM THE LORD who demonstrates unfailing love and who brings justice and righteousness to the earth, and that I DELIGHT in these things. I, the Lord, have spoken.'” Jeremiah 9:23-24 NLT

Knowing God-  Just. Righteous. Unfailing love. Not only is this blatantly countercultural, but is a direct word from God. He delights in our knowing and understanding Him;  Our Father God, Our Redeemer and merciful Saviour Jesus Christ, and our Counselor and Comforter, the Holy Spirit!

And, the more we understand and know God, then we will know and understand ourselves. Why? Because we are His image bearers; He is our identity.

He is our foundation for us to accept what God does even when we don’t understand it. When we’re confused, we can fall back on what we know about God from his Word.

Each aspect of His character is a window into His beauty, another chance to trust Him, and another reason to love Him.