[forthright] Keep Seeking

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From: "Forthright Magazine" <forthrightmag@...>
Date: Sun, 30 Nov 2008 07:43:49 -0200
Forthright Magazine
Straight to the Cross

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Keep Seeking
  by J. Randal Matheny

Like a broom, the Lord's Supper sweeps away all the
detritus, accumulated junk and lesser concerns of our
lives. At the table, we see clearly the One Thing in
this world that really matters.

The death and life proclaimed in communion is the
acted reality of Paul's exhortation in Colossians 3:1-

   Therefore, if you have been raised with
   Christ, keep seeking the things above,
   where Christ is, seated at the right hand
   of God. Keep thinknig about things above,
   not things on the earth, for you have died
   and your life is hidden with Christ in
   God. When Christ (who is your life)
   appears, then you too will be revealed in
   glory with him.

Paul was not thinking about the Lord's Supper when he
wrote these words, but they are thoughts most
appropriate when we eat the bread and drink the cup.
"If you have been raised with Christ." There is no
doubt here. This truth serves as the basis for the
imperatives to keep seeking and thinking. Earlier Paul
had considered the meaning of dying with Christ (2:20-
23); now he points them upward to the resurrection
they received with the Lord.

"Keep seeking the things above." The effort is
continual. The goal of seeking is clear. Salvation is
by grace, but that means greater effort, not less, and
with a different motivation.

"Where Christ is." Christians continually seek the
things above because that is where their Lord is. They
remember his promise that where he is, they may be

"Seated at the right hand of God." He sits enthroned.
His is the place of honor. With all authority he
oversees his kingdom, and awaits the word from the
Father to descend and claim his own.

"Keep thinking about things above, not things on the
earth." The Supper focuses our thoughts on these
things above, sweeping away the earthly things. We
need this command, since earthly things are visible,
but temporary, while the things above are invisible
and eternal. We cannot risk having our focus averted
from the latter.

"For you have died." We were dead in our
transgressions (2:13), but now have died (cut all ties
to) the things of this world (3:20). We have no more
interest in this world; our time and efforts are
invested in eternal things, so this truth serves as
the basis for our thinking.

"And your life is hidden with Christ in God." The
Christian does not hide physically from the world, but
God protects him and places him in secure and intimate
relationship with Christ. Our real life is not here,
but together with Christ. It is not obvious or
perceived from a worldly point of view. If our life is
already there, so should be our thoughts.

"When Christ (who is your life) shall appear." When
Christ comes again, the hidden things will be
manifest. Our hidden life will reverberate and shine
forth. If Paul earlier echoed Matthew 6:33, now we
hear the Lord's words again: "I am the way, the truth,
and the life" (John 14:6). He is not only the life,
but our life.

"Then you too will be revealed in glory with him." Our
experience with Christ continues and will unfold
further as we are united with him in his appearing.
This refers to his second coming. At the table we
proclaim the Lord's death until he comes again.

What powerful thoughts are these to consider as we
gather around the table and eat together!

With them are swept away all the earthly, visible,
perishing things of this world. What remains is what
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