The Lord is in our midst. As a church family, the Lord truly is knitting together a small core, a tight-knit Body amongst us. Yet, the key in Christ is not only to receive Him but so grow in Him, to be found mature in Christ.
Like in the city of Colossae, we find a group of disciples who are being led by and grown up from a group of leaders who are one of them (Col 4:12). Epaphras, the key leader in Colossae, labored and is laboring among his home town to see the next generation of leaders raised up and released into maturity. Paul – Epaphras’ father in the Lord – writes to encourage this church he has never actually visited but carries deeply in his heart. His message is simple: Jesus we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone mature in Christ (Col 1:28).
The Lord has made it clear in our midst as it was clear in the Colossians: it’s time to grow up. Maturity in Christ is the aim. In order to truly see a Body of households of faith established, every man, every woman, and every child is being called up into our Head, Jesus, together.
9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away. 11 When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways. 12 For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.
13 So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.
15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. 16 For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. 17 And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18 And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. 19 For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, 20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.
21 And you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, 22 he has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before him, 23 if indeed you continue in the faith, stable and steadfast, not shifting from the hope of the gospel that you heard, which has been proclaimed in all creation under heaven, and of which I, Paul, became a minister.
9 As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love.