Wednesday after Ad te levavi, The First Sunday in Advent
Scripture: Colossians 1:15-29 (NKJV)
15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. 16 For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. 17 And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist. 18 And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence.
19 For it pleased the Father that in Him all the fullness should dwell, 20 and by Him to reconcile all things to Himself, by Him, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross.
21 And you, who once were alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now He has reconciled 22 in the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy, and blameless, and above reproach in His sight—23 if indeed you continue in the faith, grounded and steadfast, and are not moved away from the hope of the gospel which you heard, which was preached to every creature under heaven, of which I, Paul, became a minister.
24 I now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up in my flesh what is lacking in the afflictions of Christ, for the sake of His body, which is the church, 25 of which I became a minister according to the stewardship from God which was given to me for you, to fulfill the word of God, 26 the mystery which has been hidden from ages and from generations, but now has been revealed to His saints. 27 To them God willed to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles: which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. 28 Him we preach, warning every man and teaching every man in all wisdom, that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus. 29 To this end I also labor, striving according to His working which works in me mightily.
“He is the image of the invisible God.”
One cannot honestly talk about “God” without talking about Jesus Christ. All that God said and did throughout the Old Testament was a testimony pointing towards the Son Who would come to fulfill all righteousness. And as we heard in Monday’s text from St. Matthew, the Son is the only One Who reveals the Father to us. So now that we live in the era after Christ Jesus was born of the Virgin Mary and later crucified for our sins, the image of God is the image of Jesus Christ crucified. Anything apart from this is a false and incomplete image.
By our sin and wickedness we are blind to the righteousness of God. The holy Lord is invisible to sinful man, so no one can claim they believe in God, or “the Father,” if they deny Jesus Christ and His atonement on the cross. But through the eyes of faith that come from the power of the Holy Ghost we can see God on the cross and in His glory. Furthermore, God also sees us through Christ crucified. As St. Paul says, we have been reconciled to God through Jesus’ death, and made holy, blameless, and above reproach in the sight of God. This is truly good news! And it is an image that we should proclaim throughout our lives, because we should hope that all nations should see the blessed image of the One True God in Jesus Christ!
We pray: Stir up, we beseech Thee, Thy power, O Lord, and come, that by Thy protection we may be rescued from the threatening perils of our sins and saved by Thy mighty deliverance; Who livest and reignest with the Father and the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end. Amen.