Epiphany 2: Sunday, January 18

Readings: Colossians 1: 15 – 23; John 5:2-18

We turn our attention to Colossians 1:15-23 which has scholars debating whether or not it’s an ancient church hymn, a piece of poetry, or a spontaneous interjection of praise. Whatever its literary structure is, these verses contain some of the most exalted images and depiction of the divinity and preeminence of Jesus. Pause quietly to read, reflect, and BEHOLD Jesus Christ.

  1. Now, as you re-read Col.1:15-23 read also John 5:2-18 as a companion. How does Jesus make the invisible God visible in the gospel narrative? Recall ways that you’ve experienced the visibility God in your own life. Why might this be significant in your journey of faith? How might seeing God in tangible demonstrations of love, power and redemptive healing in your own life impact others?
  2. Paul alluded to the historic Jesus in Col.1:13-14: the effects of his death and resurrection on the cross. In what ways does the apostle depict the cosmic Christ in Col.1:15-23? Holding before you the two portraits of Jesus: in his humanity; in his operative role in creation as the second person of the Trinity; consider why might this holistic portrait be important for your growth in the knowledge of his will (Col.1:9)? How does the picture and work of pre-Incarnate Christ expand your perspective or adjust your current view of life?
  3. Even though we live in a fragmented world of brokenness, evil and sin how does the image of Jesus as one who holds all the cosmos together, holds all things together instill hope, assurance or bolster your faith? Are there areas in your life that seem as if they are falling apart? Take a moment to talk to God about these things with the renewed knowledge that he holds…YOU together.
  4. It was because of Paul’s own personal experience of Jesus Christ, his expansive understanding and vision of the risen Lord Jesus, that he became a minister of the gospel – making Jesus known to all. How might your own experience of Jesus inspire creative dialogue with those who haven’t yet come to know or receive Christ as Lord and Savior? Ask God to help you share your story or open your eyes to see unique ways to serve others with the reality of Jesus’s reconciling love.