Surpassing Hope in Christ

He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by him all things were created, that are in heaven, and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones, or dominions, or rulers, or powers— all things were created through him, and for him. He himself is before all things, and by him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; so that in all things he might have preeminence. For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell, and, having made peace through the blood of his cross, through him, to reconcile all things unto himself— through him, whether they be things on earth, or things in heaven

This is the Christ Hymn of Colossians 1. I have previously talked about this, but I want to bring this up again because for me this is the entire reason I am Christian. It is the reason why, even with all my doubts about the reality of God, the necessity of faith, and the horrible way the Church doesn’t display Christ I remain and desire to remain a Christian.

Those that know me know of how I struggle to believe. I may be a leader in a campus Christian fellowship, I may have been in the church my whole life, I may know theology better than almost all people who haven’t been in seminar, but my faith is defined by the degree to which I struggle to believe. Even understanding as much theology as I do, the philosophical arguments for theism, and even seeming personal revelation by the holy spirit, I sometimes can’t bring myself to believe. It is my constant prayer for God to help my unbelief. But why do I bother; how being a scientist how can I hold to the untouchable? The answer is contained in this hymn to Christ.

I want to be Christian, I want to hold what I see as merely plausible by faith because of this vision of Christ. When I look at the world I wish to weep because of suffering, because of war, because of poverty, because of people who fail to love others. And yet when I read this passage I see that in Christ are all things. In him we find the reconciliation of nations, where to him ever knee shall bow, and every tongue shall confess that Jesus Christ is Lord. In him we find reconciliation, enmity between God and each other set aside at the end of all things. Nations will be subsumed under the power of Christ and because of him swords shall be beaten into ploughshares and the lion shall lie down with the lamb. Perhaps nothing can better illustrate this than the fact that the amount of money America has dumped into Iraq we could have ended world hunger,  we could have gone to Mars and built space colonies and see the stars! I want to see what people can do because the Bible presents a high view of what is possible, but what has not yet been achieved. I am Christian because this hymn speaks of a truly humanist view of what we can achieve as people, how we may share with Christ in the energies of his divinity. No words can express the amount of awe I feel at just imagining what might be possible when all people work for the glory of God in Christ.

 Christianity presents an amazing view of what can be done through and in Christ, this is why I remain Christian. No longer is it to avoid the fires of hell, but because I long for the surpassing worth of Jesus Christ. I long to see a world set right, nations at peace and people becoming more than they could ever imagine; partakers of the divine nature and sharing in the glory of Christ himself.


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