“To this end I labour, struggling with all his energy, which so powerfully works in me.”

Colossians 1:29

Paul, in prison, wrote this to the small Christian community in Colossae. The question for all of us as we struggle to find energy for each day in the present times is this – What was Paul’s ‘end’?  What released the energy in him so he could continue his work?

Christ is the one we proclaim, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone fully mature in Christ.

As we look ahead, into this ‘new normal’, living with something which humanly we can’t control and which ‘political correctness’ has not tamed, we need to think long and hard how we proclaim Christ to this generation. Let us remember this is the generation which has seen a whole range of idols demolished in a matter of months. Much of what politicians dangled in front of us as their gift to the nation has turned to dust (read Jeremiah for a fuller picture!) and many are left questioning their future.  

Paul knew the person he proclaimed – the crucified, risen and ascended Christ – the Lord of heaven and earth. As we go forward into this new normal are we going to proclaim Christ as a life changing encounter, which calls into question many of the ways of the old normal? Or, do we carry on doing church just as we did before? 

This should be a disturbing question for us all – what do our friends know of Christ (the question is not “What do our friends know about the Church of Scotland”)? Do they see our good works and glorify our Father in heaven? (Matthew 5, v16), or do they just say “they are nice people”?  

Is the call of Christ into the new normal to be different – from those around us and from what we were before?

[from John Baggaley]

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