The Great Convergence

First, before we talk about the passage we’ll be looking at this Sunday, I need to offer an apology.  I was confronted about the Jib Jab video I showed at the beginning of my teaching, and was advised that it really wasn’t appropriate for public viewing.  For at least one person, and maybe more, the subject matter and presentation of that particular satire was offensive and crass.  It was something they wouldn’t have viewed voluntarily…and yet I showed it publicly and without warning.  That was an abuse of my role in our community, and I’m very sorry.

If you took offense, please accept my sincere apologies, I didn’t set out to hurt anyone.  I’ve stated more than once, I’m not very good at this…but that doesn’t excuse me.  I will determine to be more cautious in the future.  The last thing I want to do is cause us to lose sight of what’s important just for the sake of a laugh.  I hope you’ll forgive me.

Ok…so, this Sunday we’ll be looking at vs 15-23 of Colossians 1 ( I highly recomend you read it in the Message as well).  Here is where Paul transitions from his opening remarks and moves toward his main point.  Remember, the Colossians had begun to drift away from the Message that they had been planted with, and were embracing errant teachings that minimized Jesus’ role in their spiritual lives.

As you read these verses, you’ll see that Paul is pretty excited about Jesus, and who He is. He makes statements about Jesus and His relationship to God.  What does the text say that Jesus is in relationship to God?
Paul also points out Jesus’ relationship to creation.  What is it?  After that, Paul points to a new order of things in vs 19-20.  What is God doing with the world through Jesus?

The question that seems to be implied in all of this is…who’s in control?  It’s a good question to pose to ourselves, considering the modern, American church’s propensity to compartmentalize our spirituality.  We seem to like the idea that we can keep church stuff to Sundays, but the rest of the week is a different story.  Do you get that impression from what Paul says here?  Based on what Paul says about Jesus, is there ANY part of life, the universe and everything that Jesus isn’t in control of? 

As we look at our own lives…is Jesus compartmentalized, or in control?  What areas do we tend to try and keep for ourselves?  Everything converges in the person of Jesus Christ.  That is where life is found…no other place.  If that’s true…then that should fundamentally change the way we view the life that we have in this world…shouldn’t it?

Stuff to ponder.  See you Sunday.

10 comments

  1. I “Wonderwhat” the “offended” contributes to the community besides “sensitivity”…………….

    Unfortunately, even Jesus couldn’t please all the people all the time. Those that didn’t get it, were offended.

    Hardly an abuse of authority … humor is good for the heart. A bullhorn and an opinion would have been out of place.

    Your appology is unnecessary but understood and certainly accepted.

    Do Not sacrafice your humor for someone else’s inability to laugh at life or “oneself”.

  2. If anything, you should apologize for that tune, “.. it’s time for some compaigning…” it has been stuck in my head like a splinter underneath a fingernail. I still find myself humming it …… and laughing…

    Anyway….. Paul kinda removes any doubt about who Jesus is. No, he wasn’t a rabbi from Galilee, he wasn’t a political leader, no … he is God. He was there before anything and will be there after. Because of his death a universe of dissonance and noise is now corrected (fixed if you will) and everything is back in tune.

    As to the compartmentalization (big word) question, we have been doing that since the garden. It’s just another way of saying “hide”. It’s funny (in a sad way), because of the cross we have direct access to the creator of all that ever was or ever will be, we say we follow a God that loves us enough to shed heaven for humanity, and still we hide, still we dodge, still we want our own way. And then when it all goes south we want to blame him for not working it out.

    This journey that we are on is not about religion, it is about relationship — that is what makes our savior so wonderful. All questions are answered with one word: Jesus.

    Cubbies in four–
    John

  3. My family and I have moved to Florida 13 years ago., we had trouble finding a church and had decided to head back to California and regroup with the Calvary Church. We saw a small ad in the yellow pages, Eastgate, come as you are. we attended one Sunday ,THE REST IS HISTORY. We stayed because we found a great church with an excellent teacher, the worship is awesome and Eastgate is a community of family that are here to seek God, in a very comfortable at atmosphere. Rob is very compassionate person and would never intentionally do anything to hurt or offend anyone.
    In these rough times of economic stress, war, and political tensions I found the Jib Jab cartoon enlightening and extremley funny and it also put me in a good frame of mind which was followed by an excellent study (as Always).

    I do not feel that Rob owes an apology for what was done with all good intentions, that is just my opinion obviously someone was offended. I hope Eastgate does not ever get so stuffy that we cannot enjoy a good laugh among family. Lighten up.. Let Go Let God…and remember …He Loved us to Death

  4. Rob, I enjoyed the movie. The skits on SNL have been hilarious as well. We love Eastgate because it’s REAL, with REAL people (like you). If we can’t be REAL there, where can we be???

    Paul was reminding them of the “main thing” (Jesus and his sacrifice). We too need to be reminded not to take this amazing gift for granted.

  5. Rob – I’m sorry you felt the need to apologize. Us Eastgaters know you love our heavenly Dad and you care deeply for our little community; we know you did not intend to offend anyone. Hopefully the folks that felt uneasy with the video will understand that it was not meant to upset them and…that there is no such thing as a flying Unicorn!! (that part still plays in my head, VERY funny!! tee,hee,hee)

    If you are new to Eastgate I hope you will stay a while and get to know us. Yes, we are a bit different and out of the norm of what our modern day society expects from a “church”. We don’t always do things right, say the right things, act the right way, or dress in our Sunday’s best. But because of God’s love and grace, Eastgate is “real”-just like Golda’s comment, ” we’re real”, it’s just that simple!!

  6. Dale , Lance, Liz, Golda, and John have all put it so well that I don’t have much to add except to personally THANK YOU for showing the video–its the best laugh I’ve had in a while. There’s so much else to be thankful for at Eastgate, that I can’t imagine a single video being such a big deal anyway. I guess we will always attract (at least temporarily,) at least some people who come to Eastgate to come to church (rather than simply coming to love , praise and learn to live God.) This is probably a good thing, and reminds us that we are no better than our Master, who offended plenty of people–often deliberately.

  7. I agree with John. I can’t get that song out of my head to save my life! But, onto the subject at hand. Right now I’m going through a big transitionary period. I’ve been away from my spouse for a week, and I pretty much broke her heart. It was hard for me to do, and I’ve got such a guilty concience that I keep worrying about what she’s going to do. Even now I’m still kind of worried. But, I stopped worrying when we got to verse 10. I may have harmed someone that I love, but I am still worthy of god’s love. And, so she is as well. And, I’ve been praying for her safety, and I know without a shadow of a doubt that she will be taken care of. By the way, Chenoa got released today, and she’s doing just fine. She’s been playing with her bulldog and resting most of the day.

    Luke Senesac.

  8. I found a pretty good article on the whole sacred/secular thing here:

    http://www.davekahle.com/sacred.html

    He gives a similar take to what Rob offered on Sunday.

    One thing I’ve been thinking about: while we do not want to embrace the old gnostic/manichean idea that spirt is good, material is bad, and the only way to salvation is by focusing on the spirit, the Bible is replete with a different kind of dualism: the temporal vs. the eternal.

    Jesus: “My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, then My servants would be fighting so that I would not be handed over to the Jews; but as it is, My kingdom is not of this realm.” (John 18:36)

    Paul :But this I say, brethren, the time has been shortened, so that from now on those who have wives should be as though they had none;

    and those who weep, as though they did not weep; and those who rejoice, as though they did not rejoice; and those who buy, as though they did not possess; and those who use the world, as though they did not make full use of it; for the form of this world is passing away. (1 Corinthians 7:29-31)

    So, while we don’t want to demand that people give up their x-boxes and start riding mules to work, there is a new perspective we must continually seek to adopt as Christians in which we set our eyes on things above, not earthly things (Col. 3:2), not because these things are bad or because they will keep us out of heaven, but because we are following Christ’s example of kenosis love (Phil 2:1-11). He had every right to stay in heaven and revel in all those infinitely cooler heavenly xboxes (or whatever awesome activities he was up to), but He gave them up for the will of the Father and out of love for man.

    So when we set our minds on things above that may mean giving up a good thing (xbox or car if necessary) for the sake of what is eternal (God’s glory or the spirit of a nonbeliever).

  9. I found a pretty good article on the whole sacred/secular thing here:
    http://www.davekahle.com/sacred.html
    He gives a similar take to what Rob offered on Sunday.

    One thing I’ve been thinking about: while we do not want to embrace the old gnostic/manichean idea that spirt is good, material is bad, and the only way to salvation is by focusing on the spirit, the Bible is replete with a different kind of dualism: the temporal vs. the eternal.

    Jesus: “My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, then My servants would be fighting so that I would not be handed over to the Jews; but as it is, My kingdom is not of this realm.” (John 18:36)

    Paul :But this I say, brethren, the time has been shortened, so that from now on those who have wives should be as though they had none;
    and those who weep, as though they did not weep; and those who rejoice, as though they did not rejoice; and those who buy, as though they did not possess; and those who use the world, as though they did not make full use of it; for the form of this world is passing away. (1 Corinthians 7:29-31)

    So, while we don’t want to demand that people give up their x-boxes and start riding mules to work, there is a new perspective we must continually seek to adopt as Christians in which we set our eyes on things above, not earthly things (Col. 3:2), not because these things are bad or because they will keep us out of heaven, but because we are following Christ’s example of kenosis love (Phil 2:1-11).

    He had every right to stay in heaven and revel in all those infinitely cooler heavenly xboxes (or whatever awesome activities he was up to), but He gave them up for the will of the Father and out of love for man.

    So when we set our minds on things above that may mean giving up a good thing (xbox or car if necessary) for the sake of what is eternal (God’s glory or the spirit of a nonbeliever).

  10. I agree Ford. Good insight. While we want to approach our life in God from a holistic perspective, our values must continuously be challenged to move into harmony with who God is, and what God values.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s