July 21st (6th Sunday of Pentecost): “Completing What is Lacking”

Text:  Colossians 1:15-28 (Genesis 18:1-10a; Luke
10:38-42)

We
can mistakenly believe that Christ’s work was done when the resurrection took
place. In doing this, we can miss our participation in the fulfillment. Our
works do make a difference. They do not change the ultimate outcome of God’s
work, but they are a part of completing that work. In the letter to the
Colossians, Paul says that in his sufferings he is completing what is lacking
in Christ’s afflictions. When we hear the word “lacking”, we think failure or
weakness. Paul is not, however, referring to any failure or weakness on
Christ’s part. Instead, the letter refers to the fulfillment found in Christ.
Christ’s work was not intended to be completed. Instead, Christ’s work is about
life not death. Jesus opened the way for us that can never be closed. Now, our
work in Christ fulfills the intention of God from the very foundation of
creation. God greets Abraham in this story from Genesis, but careful reading
will show that he did not complete that work at that time. In fact, Abraham
never saw the fulfillment. Martha was distracted by the work that never gets
done and failed to engage relationship with the one who offers eternal life,
not completion. Our works are also not about completion. Our works are also not
about accomplishment but fulfillment. How are your works fulfilling? What is
lacking in your relationship with God and others? Where have you been
distracted by accomplishment and lost fulfillment? The Spirit gives us ability
not for accomplishment, but that we too might complete what is lacking in Christ’s
suffering. This “lacking” is intentional on God’s part, so that we might
participate in the fulfillment of God with us.   

WRITTEN BY: Abiding Presence

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