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Daily Devotions from Fourth Presbyterian Church

Tuesday, July 19, 2022  

Today’s Scripture Reading  |  Colossians 2:6–15

As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, continue to walk in him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving.

Watch out that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental principles of the world, and not according to Christ. For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily, and you have come to fullness in him, who is the head of every ruler and authority. In him also you were circumcised with a spiritual circumcision, by the removal of the body of the flesh in the circumcision of Christ; when you were buried with him in baptism, you were also raised with him through faith in the power of God, who raised him from the dead. And when you were dead in trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you alive together with him, when he forgave us all our trespasses, erasing the record that stood against us with its legal demands. He set this aside, nailing it to the cross. He disarmed the rulers and authorities and made a public example of them, triumphing over them in it. (NRSV)

Songwriter Joan Osborne wrote lyrics asking “What if God were one of us? Just a stranger on the bus trying to make it home?”

Trappist Monk, writer, theologian, and mystic Thomas Merton had a lightning bolt realization similar to these lyrics as he was standing on a street corner in Louisville, Kentucky. As he looked at all of the people walking by, he saw them as having the pure diamond spark of Divine Presence blazing in their heart. He also recognized that he was the same as all of humanity, nothing more and nothing less.

In Colossians 2:6–15, Paul writes of this dynamic of humans being rooted in Christ, strengthened, taught, and overflowing and invited to awareness of our own potential of living consciously with the fullness of the Deity as it lives in Christ; warning us not to be distracted or deceived by worldly philosophies, traditions, or elemental spiritual forces, instead turning our focus on seeing the Divine spark in all of humanity including ourselves.

In this passage we learn that it is Christ who is the great synthesizer of being fully human and fully Divine at the same time and then inviting humanity to follow in his footsteps (Richard Rohr). Jesus came to show us that we can trust our human experience. In fact, it is necessary for us to come to the state of non-dual understanding of being the bearers of humanity and the Divine spark and what potential there is in being rooted in the life-giving energy of Christ.

What will we do with this awesome gift of creative potential and the tremendous responsibility to choose wisely? Cynthia Bourgeault, Episcopal priest and teacher of centering prayer, writes that in order to overhaul our operating system from the worldly limitations of our scrambled and distractible minds we need to make a choice to practice a spiritual discipline of meditation, regularly aligning with the flow of being in relationship with and rooted in Christ.

Dear God, thank you for fulfilling our lives by inviting us to come alive in Christ, rooted, strengthened, and overflowing with gratitude. Awaken in us the Divine spark planted in our hearts, that we might see with clarity that we are called to oneness with you. Amen.

Written by Susan Schemper, Replogle Center for Counseling and Well-Being

Reflection and prayer © Fourth Presbyterian Church

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