Saturday 21 August 2021

Bible Book:

I want their hearts to be encouraged and united in love, so that they may have all the riches of assured understanding and have the knowledge of God’s mystery, that is, Christ himself. (v. 2)

Colossians 2:1-7 Saturday 21 August 2021

Psalm 48


CJ Sansom is, in my opinion, an excellent novelist and historian. His Shardlake series of novels take us into the world of Tudor mystery and suspense with the odd murder thrown in here and there for the lawyer, Shardlake, to unravel.  He delves into the shadowlands of distrust and greed that lead to unfortunates losing their lives and brings the perpetrators to book. ‘Tis indeed mystery, all until the truth is revealed.

In these verses from  Paul's letter to the Colossian church, he picks up on the idea of mystery. In the previous chapter he has revealed the answer to the mystery of faith being "Christ in you, the hope of glory" (Colossians 1: 27) and in the passage we read today he tells his readers that if they are "united in love" (verse 2) then they will also enjoy the knowledge of God’s mystery, "that is, Christ himself." (verse 2)

Paul is not writing a novel and wanting to entice a reader to wonder what the solution to this mystery is. He is no CJ Sansom! Paul is speaking from personal experience of someone who saw Christian faith as a threat and, in that sense a mystery, prior to his face-to-face encounter with Christ on the road to Emmaus (see Acts 9: 1-19). It is through his change of heart and life that Paul understands the mystery of knowing Jesus and living for him. He wants to help others directly to see the revelation of that mystery – the promise of the presence of Jesus for each and every individual. 

So we find ourselves faced with Paul’s desire to put Christ supremely first and experience and share the mystery of his grace. 


To Ponder:

  • Listen to ‘O Magnum Mysterium’ (roughly translated as "How awesome that the created can behold the creator"). This version is by Morten Lauridsen.
  • How would you explain the mystery of Christ’s presence?
  • What does it mean for you to experience the riches of Christ?


Thank you, Lord, for your free and undeserved love for me. Help me to share your love for others in real and meaningful ways that point to you. Amen.


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