Friday, January 23, 2009

The audacity of hope and Colossians 1:15-23

Preparing to preach through Colossians 1:15-23 has been an extraordinary privilege in a week where the world seems to be gripped with a new hope through the inauguration of Barak Hussein Obama.

I don’t know what Obama will achieve in the next 4-8 years; how many of his dreams will become reality? How much will his nation, and a world it seeks to influence change? How much of the change will be for the better?

But, one thing is sure; if the world endures, in 8 years at most Obama will hand on power to someone else.

Despite the fact that Tuesday's ceremonies had the sense of a coronation, he is no king. He will not hand onto an heir, but a replacement, just as Bush has this week been replaced. Even those things that Obama achieves may not be what the next president wants; just as Obama is dismantling much of what Bush worked for, much of Obama’s legacy will not endure. One leader will pull things in one direction; another will come along and pull them back.

The universe is not in the hands of different rulers and powers pulling in different directions each trying exert influence in a way that will eventually cancel one another out.

It has one ruler. "For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities"It has one purpose: "all things were created through him and for him. " It has one power, "In him all things hold together". He will not look back at the end of time with unfulfilled dreams. At every moment he is holding all things together that his plans will all be fulfilled.

We don't have to hope against all hope. Our hope doesn't need to have the audacity of believing in things unseen for no visible reason. Instead we believe in the one who is the image of the invisible God and who has been seen alive three days after he died as the firstborn from among the dead.

And he is the one who has reconciled us to God.

This week, is indeed a week for great hope.

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