ISSL Reflections November 19 2023 Colossians 2:16–23 Post 3

Today as we reread this passage, let this be our guide through the passage,

“… holding fast to the head.”

Colossians 2:16-23 (NRSVue)

Therefore, do not let anyone condemn you in matters of food or drink or of observing festivals, new moons, or Sabbaths. These are only a shadow of what is to come, but the body belongs to Christ. Do not let anyone disqualify you, insisting on self-abasement and worship of angels, initiatory visions, puffed up without cause by a human way of thinking, and not holding fast to the head, from whom the whole body, nourished and held together by its ligaments and tendons, grows with a growth that is from God.

If with Christ you died to the elemental principles of the world, why do you live as if you still belonged to the world? Why do you submit to regulations, “Do not handle! Do not taste! Do not touch!”? All these regulations refer to things that perish with use; they are simply human commands and teachings. These have indeed an appearance of wisdom in promoting self-imposed piety, humility, and severe treatment of the body, but they are of no value in checking self-indulgence.

Paul had already mentioned in Colossians that Jesus Christ is the “head,”

He is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that he might come to have first place in everything.” (Colossians 1:18)

… and you have come to fullness in him, who is the head of every ruler and authority. (Colossians 2:10)

And in Ephesians he wrote,

And he has put all things under his feet and has made him the head over all things for the church, (Ephesians 1:22)

but speaking the truth in love, we must grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, (Ephesians 4:15)

In this week’s Scripture passage he emphasizes some things that prevent one from acknowledging Jesus as our “head” but also prevents us from “[growing] up in every way into him who is the head.”

Take time today to reflect on what might hold you back from recognizing Jesus as the head of our life of discipleship and the model for our maturing in the life of discipleship.

{ubi caritas et amor, Deus ibi est}

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