24 Now I rejoice in what was suffered for you, and I fill up in my flesh what is still lacking in regard to Christ's afflictions, for the sake of his body, which is the church. 25 I have become its servant by the commission God gave me to present to you the word of God in its fullness-- 26 the mystery that has been kept hidden for ages and generations, but is now disclosed to the saints. 27 To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.
28 We proclaim him, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone perfect in Christ. 29 To this end I labor, struggling with all his energy, which so powerfully works in me. (Colossians 1:24-29 NIV)
If you were to go into the auditorium of our new building, walk up on the platform and feel across the center of that front wall, about three feet off the ground, you would find a horizontal beam. If you then (please don’t really do this) got an extremely sharp knife and sliced open the fabric over that beam, you would find Colossians 1:28-29 scribbled on that beam in black Sharpie (and bad handwriting).
The handwriting is mine, and the verse is one I consider my commission as the pastor of Spout Springs Church. I wanted it to be on the platform with me every time I speak there. Each weekend, my goal is to proclaim Jesus, both teaching the facts of His word and challenging (admonishing) people to follow what He says, so that in the end everyone is working toward the perfection God calls us to pursue.
It’s not easy. But I can do my best knowing that God is the One who actually does the heavy lifting, changing lives and moving people to be more like His Son.
Paul worked hard at it. He even suffered for it. (That’s the gist of verse 24, even if the particulars are a little hard to get our brains around.)
But here’s the question. What is your part in all this? If you’re part of the Spout Springs family (or even just God’s family, the church), what part do you think God wants you to play in getting this ‘mystery’ into the heads of the people around you? And are you called to pursue the goal with any less passion than the “paid clergy”?