Finding a Purpose in Christ

“For everything, absolutely everything, above and below, visible and invisible, rank after rank after rank of angels—everything got started in him and finds its purpose in him. He was there before any of it came into existence and holds it all together right up to this moment…

Not only that, but all the broken and dislocated pieces of the universe—people and things, animals and atoms—get properly fixed and fit together in vibrant harmonies, all because of his death, his blood that poured down from the cross.  

You yourselves are a case study of what he does. … Christ brought you over to God’s side and put your lives together, whole and holy in his presence.”  (Colossians 1:16-22) MSG

This section of Scripture was one I read and meditated on during the second day into my Costa Rica mission trip this past August.  The group devotional I had helped write was going to focus on Col 1:3-14 so I decided to keep on with that theme and read a little further on in Colossians. Each of these three sections from The Message translation struck a chord in me in regards to our trip.

What stood out to me the most at that time was from the first section: “…everything got started in him and finds its purpose in him.”  This helped me realize that everything – even the hard things we were going to see in Costa Rica –  can have a purpose if redeemed by Christ.  I prayed that God would help me remember that truth.

So how did that go?  How did that truth hold up during the rest of the mission trip?  How is it seeking to transform my reflections even now?  Well, I think it did shape my thoughts during rest of the trip and helped me to continue to look for hope in the midst of some hard things we encountered.

In particular, was when we met with three community leaders from an impoverished area in San Jose called Los Guido.  To hear them describe the reality of the lives of people in Los Guido and particularly to hear one woman share of her struggle to raise up her sons in such an area was heart-breaking.  But then to hear about them still continuing to fight for change even in the midst of their own struggles was also very encouraging.  Especially encouraging was the opportunity for a staff member of Roblealto, our church’s global partner, to help these community leaders began to catch the vision for the new child care center being built by Roblealto in Los Guido.  To see these community leaders realize that this project has an opportunity to change not only the lives of families right now but also shape the lives of future generations was promising.

Now, having already done my trip and had some time to reflect,  I think what hits me more is from the last two sections in Colossians 1:16-22: “…all the broken and dislocated pieces of the universe – people and things, animals and atoms – get properly fixed and fit together in vibrant harmonies … You yourselves are a case study of what he does.”  So why do those particular phrases jump out of the page at me now?  I believe it is because it helps me not simply think of the hard things I saw in Costa Rica and say, “Those poor people, needing help, needing Christ,” but to lump myself into the message and realize that all of us need help, need Christ but just in different ways.

This broadens my view of what exactly is meant by “broken and dislocated” and then helps me begin to look for such places in my own life and the world around me.  This mind shift is vitally important in allowing Christ to open my eyes to how He is starting to fix and fit such places together in “vibrant harmonies.”  Granted when you read much of the news these days, with all the tragedies taking place around the world, this doesn’t always seem to be the case.

Which is why I feel it is so important for us to start small and then work outward from there.  To first recognize where Christ to making “broken and dislocated” places in our own lives whole.  Then to move on to finding similar places in our local community and within the lives of our friends and family.  The hope that can spring from such a lens can then allow us to view the broader context of world problems without becoming angry at injustice, overwhelmed by many needs or paralyzed about how to respond.  May I continue to take this lesson to heart!

“For everything, absolutely everything, above and below, visible and invisible, rank after rank after rank of angels—everything got started in him and finds its purpose in him. He was there before any of it came into existence and holds it all together right up to this moment…

Not only that, but all the broken and dislocated pieces of the universe—people and things, animals and atoms—get properly fixed and fit together in vibrant harmonies, all because of his death, his blood that poured down from the cross.  

You yourselves are a case study of what he does. … Christ brought you over to God’s side and put your lives together, whole and holy in his presence.”  (Colossians 1:16-22) MSG

Love to Hear Your Thoughts!