The letter to the Colossians is a short book, only four chapters, but ties together not just the thoughts of the Paul of Tarsus and John the Evangelist, but of the Hebrew religion with later Christian developments like the Nicene Creed.
Because though he was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, and suffered under Pontius Pilate, He died for the centurions as much as the women at the well.
Pau’s letter to the Colossians concerns the LORD, the Human God, the incarnation and person of the Deity with arms and legs, with saliva and blood.
Christ is the Co-Creator with God
The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.
Being the LORD, Christ is not worshiped because of the Law — the Law is “the law” because it comes from Christ. He is the Sovereign LORD who dictated the Law’s terms. The Law is a shadow of the LORD, Jesus Christ is the LORD Himself
Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day. These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ.
This is important. The text is a messenger. An Angel is a Messenger. A Prophet is a messenger. All have their place and all have their honor. But worship is for God, not his creations.
Do not let anyone who delights in false humility and the worship of angels disqualify you. Such a person also goes into great detail about what they have seen; they are puffed up with idle notions by their unspiritual mind. They have lost connection with the head, from whom the whole body, supported and held together by its ligaments and sinews, grows as God causes it to grow.
Since you died with Christ to the elemental spiritual forces of this world, why, as though you still belonged to the world, do you submit to its rules: “Do not handle! Do not taste! Do not touch!”? These rules, which have to do with things that are all destined to perish with use, are based on merely human commands and teachings.
We worship Christ Himself, not His angels, and not His prophets. And while distance forces a bodily separation from each other, while the tyranny of distance gives us only spiritual proximity to each other:
I tell you this so that no one may deceive you by fine-sounding arguments. For though I am absent from you in body, I am present with you in spirit and delight to see how disciplined you are and how firm your faith in Christ is.
Christ is physically with us.
If you are near anyone, you are near Christ
Here there is no Gentile or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all.
In any relationship, Christ is one of the related. He is loved when the other is loved. He is hatd when the other is hated. He is honored when the other is honored. He is enslaved when the other is enslaved. This is the easiest part of Christianity to say, and the hardest to live
Wives, submit yourselves to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord.
Husbands, love your wives and do not be harsh with them.
Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord.
Fathers, do not embitter your children, or they will become discouraged.
Slaves, obey your earthly masters in everything; and do it, not only when their eye is on you and to curry their favor, but with sincerity of heart and reverence for the Lord. Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving. Anyone who does wrong will be repaid for their wrongs, and there is no favoritism.
Masters, provide your slaves with what is right and fair, because you know that you also have a Master in heaven.
In each murder He is in the murdered.
And in the murderer.
He is in he who is nailed to the cross.
And in he who holds the hammer and drives the nail.
When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, having canceled the charge of our legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us; he has taken it away, nailing it to the cross.
The Human God is nailed to a cross. God, in the human, in the one who nails to the cross.
The Canaanites, who seem to have been visited by the Holy Spirit and knew so much, but through shadows, called God “The Bull El.” The strength, the fury, the testicles must have impressed upon the Canaanites the sense of the Ruler of the World, but so must have been a Bull’s fearsome protection.
He has given offerings for the gods to eat
Obligations that the sons of Qudsu might drink!
Will you not bless him, O Bull El, my father,
Strengthen him, O Creator of created things?
Let there be a son in his house,
A scion in the midst of his palace
The way one feeds God, of course, is to give the poor food (Matthew 25:42). And this prayer, for the virtuous man Danel, is incorporated by reference by the Holy Spirit, who spoke through the Prophet Ezekial, who reminded us that before there were Hebrews, God was still active in the world. (And how could He not be, when He is the firstborn of all creation?)
The word of the LORD came to me: “Son of man, if a country sins against me by being unfaithful and I stretch out my hand against it to cut off its food supply and send famine upon it and kill its people and their animals, even if these three men—Noah, Danel and Job—were in it, they could save only themselves by their righteousness, declares the Sovereign LORD
No wonder the Hebrew Bible also describes God as a bull
God who brings him out of Egypt,
is like the horns of a wild ox for him;
he shall devour the nations that are his foes
and break their bones.
He shall strike with his arrows.
No wonder the Bull demanded a sacrifice of a Bull. Because God Himself would be there — the priest, the victim, the altar, and even in the murderer – when God himself was sacrificed.
“Bring the bull to the front of the tent of meeting, and Aaron and his sons shall lay their hands on its head. Slaughter it in the Lord’s presence at the entrance to the tent of meeting. Take some of the bull’s blood and put it on the horns of the altar with your finger, and pour out the rest of it at the base of the altar. Then take all the fat on the internal organs, the long lobe of the liver, and both kidneys with the fat on them, and burn them on the altar. But burn the bull’s flesh and its hide and its intestines outside the camp. It is a sin offering
The bull. The sin offering. The slaughter. The blood.
God, let the blood be on these people and their children. It will wash away the sins of the world.
All of creation has fallen. But He is greater than it all, the source of it all, the Redeemer of it all.
He is the LORD
A God with internal organs, liver, kidney, and fat, with flesh and intestines.
A God in those who are burned. A God in those excluded.
Behold Him born in a manger! Behold the Image of the Invisible God! Behold the Firstborn of All Creation!
2 thoughts on “Letter to the Colossians”
Although I personally agree with the statement that “All of creation has fallen”, I get a strong feeling of Catholicism from you. True, it’s secondary to the feeling of an inquisitive Christianity. But, I was wondering how Catholic this statement is considering that natural theology, a bulwark of Catholicism, is built on the sinless nature of the non-human parts of creation. That all of creation has fallen seems closer to the Calvinist realization that all areas of creation have been tainted at least a little bit with corruption. Am I missing something (which would be no surprise given my limited background in natural theologies and Catholic theology)?
Thank you for the comment! I only saw it today because of the spam filter, but what Maundy Thursday gift to see it today!
All of creation has fallen, that is to say, all of Creation can only be saved by the Life, Death, & Resurrection of Our Lord, Jesus Christ.
His Blood was shed for “many.” We don’t know if this “many” is actually less than the all who need it. His Justice and Mercy are both beyond our comprehension.
We experience that salvation after having sinned. For us, the blood is ‘after’ our sins — even though chronologically, of course, the blood was shed some two thousand years before us.
At least one — Our Lady — experienced salvation without having sinned. For her, the blood was ‘before’ and prevented any of her sins — even though, chronologically of course, she was born before her Creator, and lived after His last breath.
Whether the rest of her clothing (Rev 12:1) is saved “before” or “after” sin matter perhaps in a Calvinist perspective, but not a Catholic one. Without the life, death, and resurrection it would be eternally removed from God. Thus it is saved.