“To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. We proclaim him, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone fully mature in Christ.” (Colossians 1)
One of our American friends has feared flying, but that didn’t keep her from visiting the UK. She did, however, drink some wine on the way over (she who normally abstains from alcohol). Believing that God can free us from such fears, I offered to pray with her before their return home. We began to pray, and after a while I wondered if I was praying the right way (whatever that is). Just then the words flashed into my mind, “Christ in you, the hope of glory.”
That was the key to deeper prayer, where we claimed her identity in Christ and where she sloughed off layers of fear that had been rooted in her heart. As we prayed, we rejoiced and gave thanks, and I looked forward to hearing how her flight home would go. The next day I got a quick email that said “the flight was fine – better than fine – in fact” and that she “made it through and didn’t self-medicate at all!”
The phrase that came to me in prayer makes up a profound part of Paul’s letter to the Colossians. He writes to address a heresy, and in doing so he proclaims Christ as the image of God, the creator, the head of the church and the reconciler, among other titles. He wants the Colossians to hold tight to their faith in Christ, to know his indwelling and to become fully mature in him.
Memorizing Scripture may not be your favorite thing, but perhaps this devotional series of considering Christ’s indwelling could plant one phrase indelibly in your mind, “Christ in you, the hope of glory.” I trust the Lord will quicken those words when you need a touch of his caress, a reminder of his love, a gift of his grace. May you remain in him as he remains in you.
For reflection: “Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever!” (Ephesians 3:20–21)