“Christ in you, the hope of glory.”
The apostle Paul uses this phrase in his letter to the Colossians when describing the “mysteries of God which have been revealed.” Sometimes I get overwhelmed and even discouraged by the vastness and mystery of God. How does it all work? Who is God? Who lives with God forever and who lives separated from God forever? These and many other questions can leave us overwhelmed and even to conclude the journey of faith isn’t worth taking.
But when I read these words from Paul, taking head on the reality that there is indeed a vast amount of mystery in God, I am encouraged. While he doesn’t “unlock the mysteries” in the way we perhaps think he should – a detective taking clues and making the case – he does give us the most important and indeed perhaps only key: Jesus.
He says it clearly:
“My purpose is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.”
As we learn about, explore and connect with the person of Jesus Christ, somehow in him we begin to unlock the mysteries of God. This happens in our inmost places, deep down in our souls. Yet it seems it may start in the simplest, most outward actions. Following him, living like him, heeding his words, treating others as he treated them and even speaking the very prayer that he taught us. By these small, daily actions we come to know Christ more and more, and in turn grow deeper in wisdom and knowledge.
So while my intellect, my cynicism, my hurts and my doubts may conspire to discourage me, I choose to follow Jesus. I choose to wake up every morning and seek him. To commune with him in prayer, asking him to take me on this journey into the mystery. And as I do, for these many years, I have found the truest, freest, most beautiful life unfolding more and more before me.
Feeling that God is too much of a mystery? Try reading the gospels, praying to Jesus, and asking him to lead you into the mystery. You might just find that the object of our entire faith, the namesake Christ of the Christian faith, is indeed alive, and he is the way, the truth and the life.
Grace and Peace,