A thought from today’s readings:
Christ is the image of the invisible God, the first-born over all creation. For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross (Col 1: 15, 19).
Now we know that the Lord will save his anointed; he will answer him from his holy heaven, with the mighty strength of his right hand. Some put their trust in chariots and some in horses, but we will only call upon the name of the Lord our God. (Psalm 20: 6-7)
The psalms – Old Testament songs – are a rich variety of heart songs reflecting the full range of human emotions. Some praise, some rant and some cry out for help. Others voice great conclusions. Today is one.
“Now we know that the Lord will save…”
But let’s start with the New Testament. I have intentionally ordered them this way, because Christians read the psalms through New Testament eyes. Christians commit themselves to follow Jesus as Lord. I often remind myself that Jesus himself knew and frequently quoted the psalms.
So therefore, it is perfectly reasonable to start today’s thought with this mighty section from Paul’s letter to the new church in Colosse. Written in AD60 while Paul was in Rome under house arrest, he sets out to refute early heresies. Paul spent three years in Ephesus, and one of his converts, Epaphras, had taken the Gospel to Colosse. Early heretical ideas sprang up in this young church, including ceremonialism, angel worship, asceticism, secret knowledge, and reliance on human wisdom. Some came from previous Jewish ideas and others a foretaste of the later (2nd Century) heresy of Gnosticism. All could point to the deprecation of Christ. So Epaphras visited Paul in Rome. Entitled “the supremacy of Christ“ Paul sets out to reassert this wonderful truth (Colossians 1: 15-23 NIV).
Now we know that the Lord will save. The psalm goes on to encourage us. When change occurs, the way we show our faith is challenged. We need new styles of worship. Currently many of us are isolated, or at home, away from our normal friendship groups. Motivation can be challenging. Most human beings need others around them - friend and stranger – to stimulate them. It is easy for us to find other ways to seek peace and prosperity (maybe today’s “chariots and horses”) and so it is good to be encouraged to “stand firm”.