Gleanings – Dancing with the One Who Brung You!

Colossians 1:24-2:7

“Him we proclaim, warning every man and teaching every man in all wisdom, that we may present every man mature in Christ.”

“Dear is Plato. Dearer still is truth.” So said Aristotle of his mentor. It is the hubris of man to abandon the one who “brung” him. But it is often the case that we abandon our teachers, even the faith of the home in which we were raised. We do it to cast off restraint. We are not bound by simplicity. We are enlightened and evermore pursuing more of it.

On the other hand, Mark Twain once said that he was amazed at how little his dad knew when Mark went off to college and how much his dad had learned by the time Mark graduated. Twain’s father did not know more. Twain just realized he knew some. Maturity realizes the truth present in those we’ve cast off or just pushed aside.

Paul heralds and teaches Him, Jesus, that we (the church, the called out people) might “present every man mature in Christ.” It is through Jesus and understanding him that we become mature (under the power of the Holy Spirit). If we want to grow up, we follow Jesus, not run ahead.

Mature, to be sure, includes the sense of older and wiser (at least becoming sophomores, wise fools, knowing now, in spite of what we do know, the vastness of what we don’t). But mature or teleion in Greek also means to reach the purpose for which we are designed, to reach our end. And our end is? We were created in the image of God. And the Holy Spirit is sanctifying us (back) into the likeness of the Son (to know the son is to know the Father – John 8:12-19). So the highest order of being human is found in Jesus. It is found in following, not leading. It is found in being taught, not teaching.

Are you maturing, getting wiser and reaching your end? When was the last time you let God change your mind? Do you have a teachable spirit? Do you care more or less today for the widowed and orphaned than you did yesterday? The answer to that one may well reveal your trajectory.

Jesus is looking for sponges, folks who will sit at his feet. He is looking for those who will dance with the one who “brung” them. After all, he paid for the carnation.


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