Summer is here; the most anticipated time of year, next to Christmas! For some it means family vacations, trips to the beach and the lake, ice cream for dinner, or lazy days at home. For me summer has always meant summer reading! When I was in grade school I couldn’t wait for summer to arrive for it meant that I could spend my days reading endlessly (after my chores were done of course). I would spread a blanket outside under the big shade tree and devour the latest mystery I had borrowed from my local library. When I begin a new mystery I can hardly wait to get to the end of it so I can discover the answers to all the secrets.
There is one mystery that I have discovered though that continues to baffle and amaze me. It is found in the book of Colossians. Paul writes to the church at Colossi about a mystery which has been kept secret for generations. Peter tells us in 1 Peter 1:10-11 that even the prophets of old wondered about this mystery and wanted to know when this mystery would be revealed.
What is it?
This message was kept secret for centuries and generations past, but now it has been revealed to God’s people. For God wanted them to know that the riches and glory of Christ are for you Gentiles, too. And this is the secret: Christ lives in you. This gives you assurance of sharing his glory.
The mystery is first that the gospel message, the good news of salvation, is not just for the Jews only but also for the Gentiles. That’s most of us! And second, that the Creator of the Universe, the Son of God, the visible image of the invisible God, lives in us.
When we come to know Jesus as our Lord and Savior, He comes to live in us. And in Jesus lives the fullness of God. There is a popular movie out where one character is called “mini-me.” Mini-me is a mini version of the main character. Jesus is not a mini-God. He is all God. “For God in all His fullness was pleased to live in Christ.” (Col. 1:19)
These concepts are so wonderful, so profound, that Peter says in the book of 1 Peter these are “things into which angels long to look.” Angels long to understand, know, and to experience this mystery. But it is a mystery preserved for you and me. Christ in you; the hope of glory.
I have a difficult time wrapping my brain around this. It is not just that Jesus lives in me, but that he would want to live in me. Somehow he guides me, directs me, and empowers me to do the things he has called me to do. Because of this mystery, I am able to experience the very presence of God, an experience most of the world is longing for.
Frederick Buechner says it better than I in his book the Magnificent Defeat.
“For what we need to know is not just that God exists, not just that beyond the steely brightness of the stars there is a cosmic intelligence of some kind that keeps the whole show going, but that there is a God right here in the thick of our day-today lives who in one way or another is trying to get messages through our blindness as we move around down here knee deep in the fragrant muck and misery and marvel of the world. It is not objective proof of God’s existence that we want, but the experience of God’s presence. And that is also I think the miracle that we really get.”
As I mediate on the fact that Christ lives in me and I live with Him, it causes me to be profoundly grateful. I am grateful for all I have, for all He has done for me, and grateful for the very breath of life He has given me. It also keeps me on my knees in humble adoration for the miracle and the mystery of Christ in me, the hope of glory.