My posts come from my personal daily scripture readings and a part of my personal accountability. If we are going to grow as followers of Christ, we must be in the Word! If you miss these a few days, something has kept me from it; but if they're gone for too many days, call me on the carpet. We need to hold one another accountable. I follow the readings and journaling from lifejournal.me. Join me on this journey as our lives are to Reflect the Image-and Jesus IS the image. Peace, Carla Sunberg
Friday, December 7, 2012
Christ is the Image
He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation.
(Colossians 1:15 NASB)
and have put on the new self who is being renewed to a true knowledge according to the image of the One who created him—
(Colossians 3:10 NASB) a renewal in which there is no distinction between Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave and freeman, but Christ is all, and in all.
(Colossians 3:11 NASB)
The beauty of this season of the year is that we celebrate God
coming to be with us, in the flesh. Jesus Christ IS the image of the
invisible God. He reveals to us what God is like in all things. If we
are in Christ, then we are being renewed according to him. In other
words, the image is being renewed in us so that we look like him. It
doesn't matter who we are, we can all be renewed into his image and then
serve as a reflection of him to the world around us. This is the call
of the deeper walk with Jesus Christ -- we are called to transformation
into his image. Therefore as we walk this earth people are to see Jesus
in us and experience Christ, and hence God here on earth.
Yesterday we spent the day driving around east Ohio and making
stops at different churches along the way. I am troubled by some of
what I see happening in our culture, society, and the church. Over near
the Ohio river and in a back little holler there stands a beautiful
church building that once upon a time was filled with worshipers. Today
the building stands, but there remains only a handful of worshipers who
can barely afford to keep the doors open. The community is depressed.
The coal mines and steel mills have closed down. The latest census
shows that there are 418 people left in this town and nearly every one
lives below the poverty level. Drug and alcohol abuse is rampant in
this depressed part of the country. There are two churches in town and
both are suffering serious decline. People are not going to church, the
entire community has become "unchurched." In an effort to reach out to
children the church held a week-long Vacation Bible School, and every
evening only one child attended.
What people need is Christ! They need the living incarnated Jesus
Christ that can transform their lives. He is the solution to the
problems which ail this part of the country. But the problem we face
today is that people say I want Jesus, but I don't want the church.
Therefore the church has to ask herself, how do we become Jesus to the
communities around us? That is when things get personal, because then
we have to ask ourselves whether we have been playing church, or have we
been focused on the spiritual transformation which is to occur in each
and every single one of our lives? If an entire church were made up of
individuals who were a reflection of Jesus to the world, what would
happen? Could we effectively minister to a community that has lost all
hope? Isn't that what Jesus did when he entered this world! Jesus was
born and brought hope to a needy and dying world. We are living in that
needy and dying world today and they need to see Jesus. We must pray
that God helps us to be a clear reflection of Jesus, of THE image, to
the world. Only in this way can they experience the transforming power
of God in their lives.
My heart is broken today for the communities which have lost all
hope. It is an overwhelming thought and a daunting task. I also
realize that responsibility begins with me, personally, and my personal
walk with Jesus. Therefore I must seriously ask myself whether I am a
reflection of THE image to the world around me.
Jesus, I pray for this community and so many others -- may they see you and find their hope in you. Amen.