Whenever I get a chance to share a talk during our worship gatherings at VLC, I almost always walk away with a list of things I wish I had shared. This last Sunday I continued the discussion Participating in the People of God (podcast, blog) in which we explored how love empties, creating change, and rewriting the story of those involved. I wanted to take this a bit further but in the interest of time and anticipating a lively discussion, I chose to save it for later.
What I wanted to share is that the way of loving that is expressed in Colossians 3:12-17 can be found in the way of the cross. The cross is an implement of death, and Jesus urged his disciples to take up their crosses and follow him. This was understood both literally and symbolically as an act of sacrificial worship. When the people of God choose to love sacrificially we can say that we die to self, die for others, and die in Christ. Through the way of the cross, we lay aside self-interest, embrace the interest of others, and find our complete identity in Christ. But, if the way of the cross leads us to death, is there hope? Is there good news? Yes. This cross we speak of is the cross of Christ. After he died, he has raised to life again. The cross of Christ leads to resurrection. We cannot predict what our resurrections will look like or when it will happen when we choose to live sacrificially in Christ, but we do know this, as the kingdom of God is counterintuitive and often exceeds our expectations, so will our resurrections be. The same Jesus that said “take up your cross” is the same Jesus that said, “I will never leave or forsake you.”
I pray that through these discussions of participating in the people of God we will find that God has made a way for us to love one another that brings honor not only to God and others but encompasses us as well.
Grace and peace,