Archive: July, 2012

Complete in Christ

For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily, and you have come to fullness in him

(Colossians 2:9, NRSV)

These words take us to the very heart of the gospel.  They remind us, in the words of the King James Version, that we are complete in Christ.  In him there is fullness, we share in that fullness, and we are fulfilled in him.  In him we have all that we need.

We find that so hard to believe!  Christ cannot be enough.  Surely we must add something of our own: other mediators, like the Colossians; some special, insider knowledge; some additional rites and ceremonies; careful observance of some taboos; or some special experiences, like a dramatic conversion or an immediate and direct encounter with the Holy Spirit?

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‘Three-score Years and Ten’

A few weeks ago my eye fell on a fascinating headline in the literary magazine, ‘Northwords Now’. ‘Aonghas Dubh aig aois a gheallaidh,’ it said. I hadn’t heard the phrase for a long time, but it was in common use in the older Gaelic world when life seemed more precarious than it does now; and when, of course, biblical language coloured everyday speech in a way that is rare today. All in all, it was a splendid headline. The phrase goes back to the words of the Psalmist, ‘The days of our years are three-score years and ten,’ and from them came the sentiment, often expressed by septuagenarians, ‘I got the promise.’

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