“This mystery has been kept in the dark for a long time, but now it’s out in the open. God wanted everyone, not just Jews, to know this rich and glorious secret inside and out, regardless of their background, regardless of their religious standing. The mystery in a nutshell is just this: Christ is in you, so therefore you can look forward to sharing in God’s glory. It’s that simple. That is the substance of our Message. We preach Christ, warning people not to add to the Message. We teach in a spirit of profound common sense so that we can bring each person to maturity. To be mature is to be basic. Christ! No more, no less. That’s what I’m working so hard at day after day, year after year, doing
my best with the energy God so generously gives me.”
(The Message, Col. 1:26-29)
This passage of scripture struck a chord with me this Easter. It reminds me that Christ is in all and at the same time, “Christ is in you.” Let this sink in for just a minute.
As I enjoy the springtime of Missouri, it reveals the Easter of our own God in everything, which is breathtaking in itself.
But the writer of Colossians reminds us that the mystery of it all is in God and that God is also in us. God is at once working in the big picture, which we mostly cannot see. As Paul once wrote, we get but a small glimpse of the mystery of God. Yet the Colossians writer wants us to grasp that God is also in the particular in us, each of us! The writer goes on to say this is the substance of our message, God is in us!
This last year has been a journey, which sometimes has made us search for answers that seem not to be present. Yet through it all, God has been revealed in multiple new ways.
For this article, I have included a picture of the Wesleyan Covenant Prayer surrounded in the cross of Jesus. I find it moving and representative of what the Colossians writer was trying to share in the scripture. The writer urges us to use our best energy through God to witness to the world God’s grace, light and steadfast presence in our very lives no matter what.
As we draw close to our Missouri Annual Conference Session, may we be a people of light and witness to the presence of God in our lives, world and churches. I know this has been a season in which festivities and celebrations seem hard to come by. However, look around and find something to celebrate. This spring as we emerge from the pandemic, seek to rediscover life and hope in our communities. The words of the old children’s vacation bible school song come to mind on page 585 of our hymnbook; this little light of mine, I’m going to let it shine; everywhere I go, all through the night, no one hides it under a bushel basket, rather they put it on a hilltop for all to see! May we all be a shining light for the world to see as we work to witness and change our world to resemble Heaven on Earth as Jesus’ prayer asks us to do!
I hope I see you at Annual Conference whether in person or through virtual means. May God bless the church. May we find unity in Christ and work for diversity in the Kingdom so that the Missouri Annual Conference of churches may be safer places for all people, especially for young and more diverse people, as we witness to find grace in Jesus Christ.
This rendering of John Wesley’s Covenant Prayer was created by Bishop Peter D. Weaver in 1997. It symbolizes the cross of Christ at the center of our life and covenant, as we are surrounded by the eternal circle of God’s love through all the changing circumstances of our days.