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Paul knew Jesus as the eternal Creator

February 28, 2024
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Daily Scripture

Colossians 1:15-20

15 The Son is the image of the invisible God,
        the one who is first over all creation,
16 Because all things were created by him:
        both in the heavens and on the earth,
        the things that are visible and the things that are invisible.
            Whether they are thrones or powers,
            or rulers or authorities,
        all things were created through him and for him.
17 He existed before all things,
        and all things are held together in him.
18 He is the head of the body, the church,
who is the beginning,
        the one who is firstborn from among the dead
        so that he might occupy the first place in everything.
19 Because all the fullness of God was pleased to live in him,
20         and he reconciled all things to himself through him—
        whether things on earth or in the heavens.
            He brought peace through the blood of his cross.

Daily Reflection & Prayer

NOTE: Today’s Scripture was an early Christian hymn. Click here to enrich your Lent with a newly released hymn from YTHEFFECT called “With Everything” (feat. Zae Romeo).

After meeting Jesus, the apostle Paul became part of an already growing, thriving Christian community. He made such a vast contribution to that community’s faith partly because he joined in the community’s expressions of their shared faith in Jesus. Scholar J. R. Daniel Kirk said today’s passage was “Probably an early Christian hymn. It uses language for humanity from Genesis 1 to describe the preexistent Christ.” *

  • It’s a historical fact that Christians did not take centuries to begin speaking of Jesus as God. Scholar Larry Hurtado said, “In historical terms we may refer to a veritable ‘big bang,’ an explosively rapid and impressively substantial christological [i.e., study of Christ’s identity and significance] development in the earliest stage of the Christian movement.” ** Paul likely heard Christians sing this reflective hymn. What songs have helped shape your faith and sharing?
  • Scholar William Barclay wrote of verses 19-20, “The object of [Jesus’] coming was… to bridge the chasm between God and man…. The initiative in reconciliation was with God…. God’s attitude to [people] was love, and it was never anything else.” *** Paul didn’t try to explain all the mysteries about Jesus’ divinity. He just quoted this hymn stating it as a reality giving the early believers new life. In what ways has following Jesus changed your life for the better?
Prayer

Lord Jesus, Paul, and those early Christians, believed what the Apostles’ Creed later said: “I believe in Jesus Christ, [God’s] only Son, our Lord.” I join them in that faith and loyalty. Amen.

GPS Insights

Gwyn Thomas

Gwyn Thomas

Gwyn Thomas serves in donor relations at Resurrection. She’s a Boston native and moved to Kansas City in 2020. Her husband Blake is a provisional elder in the UMC and is a Congregational Care Pastor at Resurrection Leawood. Her favorite pastimes include pottery, hiking, frisbee, trying new restaurants, and spending time with her daughter and their large orange cat, Tuna.

Do you ever wish you could go back and do some parts of your faith experience for the first time again? I think I have that feeling sometimes because I reference those moments when I need an extra boost. I like to reflect on pinnacle moments like my baptism, when I read Scripture up front in church for the first time, worshipping at a church service in Zambia, looking over Bethlehem from Herodium. * These are specific to my faith journey, and I’m sure you have some of your own, too.  

Jesus didn’t feel real for me until I was about 15. It was later than I’d like to admit. Now I did believe in Jesus’ love. I was humbled when I thought about a person who would die for me. I felt comforted by the idea of someone knowing me better than I knew myself. However, the “realness” happened as I was being led through a lectio divina exercise at a high school retreat. Lectio divina is a spiritual practice that immerses you into Scripture. During the meditation portion of the practice, I remember the moment when I felt Jesus sit down right beside me and grab my hand. It was a knowing deep within my soul. It felt like He’d been there the whole time.  

This moment was impactful on my faith experience because it made Jesus feel real and personal. It is easy to express our faith with outward signs like serving, or reading scripture, or praying… all of which are important! But it is equally important to identify where Jesus feels present in our hearts and for us to know Jesus on that personal level. This week, may you find Jesus sitting right next to you and may you find moments to be present with Him.

* Learn more at Herodium (BiblePlaces.com)

© 2024 Resurrection: A United Methodist Church. All Rights Reserved.
Scripture quotations are taken from The Common English Bible ©2011. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
References

* J. R. Daniel Kirk, study note on Colossians 1:15-20 in The CEB Study Bible. Nashville: Abingdon Press, 2013, p. 383 NT.
** Larry W. Hurtado, Lord Jesus Christ: Devotion to Jesus in Earliest Christianity. Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2003, p. 135.
*** William Barclay, The Letters to the Philippians, Colossians and Thessalonians (Revised Edition). Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 1975, p. 122.