Posted by: The Simple Guy | October 6, 2014

Our Only Hope of Glory

In the last few posts I have been discussing Colossians chapters 1 and 2.  I have been deeply moved the last few days by a truth I would like to share with you.  This will require some setting up, so please be patient. 🙂

I have believed for quite a while that the theme of Colossians is “Christ in you the hope of glory” (from chapter 1:27)

In the book of Colossians we have seen that Paul is introducing us to Christ as the one who is restoring all of creation to Himself.  All of creation.

And He will succeed!  This is not in doubt.

This endeavor Christ has undertaken is the top priority in all of the universe, and we have been granted a role on the team.  That is the “mystery” of Colossians.  Christ has chosen to restore mankind through His Body, the Church.

This time I was impressed by the fact that “you” in 1:27 is plural.  Not “me” but “us”.

In chapter 2 Paul stresses the importance of the struggle, which is the above mentioned endeavor.

Paul says that he wants us to be encouraged and bound together in love so that we can attain the riches of the assurance of understanding the knowledge of the Mystery, which is Christ.

This sums up what I have posted about in the last couple of posts.  These thoughts were in the background of my mind as I talked with Dad this weekend.  So there is some of the background.  Now let me relate some of the events in my family that led up to the discussion I had with Dad Saturday.

I have a cousin who has gone to be with the Lord in the last month.  I say HAVE because he is still alive.  He has never been better.

He lost his father to a random act of violence when he was only 15 – 25 years ago.  His world turned upside down at that point, and I will never be able to understand the depth of the struggle he had.  I don’t want to get into the details, because to my shame, I don’t know them, and because it isn’t the point anyway.  I know there was depression, and there was an injury at some point.  I know he had a struggle with addiction to a pain medication he took for the injury.

When we heard about his death, my first thought turned to the worst.  Especially because of the particular day he died.  However, when I interacted with his family on the day of the funeral, I heard stories of little things he said in the week preceding his trip Home.  He mentioned that he loves Jesus and was so grateful that Jesus still loves him.  He mentioned that he had finally been able to forgive his father’s killer.  I heard that he died of natural causes in his sleep.

The people who were with him the day before he died said that they would characterize his demeanor as “joy”.

Dad and I were discussing this Saturday.  (Mom and Dad were able to go see the family before the funeral, but were unable to attend the funeral.  I was able to make it to the funeral.  So we were both there, but not at the same time.  Saturday was the first time we were able to compare notes.)

Dad related to me his experience as a new Christian, how he bought a red-letter Bible and really concentrated on the things Jesus said.  He knew that whatever Jesus said he could count on.  He said that he spent the first several years of his Christian life pondering the difference between what Jesus did as God, and what He did as a man.  But he said that what he has been impressed with lately is the miracle we see in people, where at various times, we see Christ in them.  And we don’t control this.  Often times we don’t even know it is happening.

His example was my cousin.  My cousin didn’t know he was living out his last days.  He was like me, thinking life would go on for quite a while.  But several little things he said and did in the last week of his life served as a tremendous encouragement to his Mom in  particular, and to the rest of his family as well.

I have worked at leaving enough details out so as not to put anyone on the spot here, so if you know what I am talking about please respect the privacy of the family.

What I want to share is that just like my cousin, we don’t know how closely people will be looking at the things we do or say.  We don’t know the results of the simple, seemingly insignificant things we will do or say.

Now, losing my cousin, (who was younger than me) has already had a profound and sobering effect on my outlook on life.  I have noticed some differences in the way I am spending my time.  But it has been profoundly liberating to me to realize that my cousin was weak, and yet Jesus used him.  I don’t have to be perfect.  Just real – and I have to be holding Jesus’ hand.

From that perspective, look at these verses again (I hope to never see them the same again):

Col 1:26-27
(26) the mystery hidden for ages and generations but now revealed to his saints.
(27) To them God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.

Humbled and Amazed,

Simply Grateful,

The Simple Guy

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Responses

  1. This is so great, Craig, about your cousin and so true! Thank you ~ it helps me to see things a little clearer and make sense out of what happened. . . I am slowly putting all the pieces together and I know God has it all put together according to His perfect will and is leading me to such peace ~ I appreciate you and am proud to have you for my precious nephew and Shannon’s cousin.

    • I’m sure it will take time. You have access to a lot more of the pieces than I do, that’s for sure!


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