The whole body receives nourishment and grows through a life lived in intimate relationship with Christ. Three images within today’s passage illustrate our union with Christ. The first is of a tree with its roots deep in the soil: “rooted . . . in him.” The tree draws its nourishment through the roots, which also anchor the tree—the deeper the roots the stronger the tree. Christ is the source of our nourishment and our strength.
The second image brings to mind the foundation upon which we build a house: “built up in him.” The house is only as strong as its foundation, just as a tree is only as strong as its root system. Our lives are only as strong as the foundation on which we build them.
The third is of the head: “holding fast to the head.” The head serves as the center of control. Christ is the head and under his supreme authority we flourish and grow. In Christ, “the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily.”
It’s not about what we do or don’t do, about making and keeping rules. What matters in our living is our rootedness in Christ and our bearing in mind that Christ is both our foundation and our head. Christ frees us to live the fullness of life God intends for us—free from the power of sin, free from bondage to rules, free from debt to God, free from the power of “rulers and authorities” other than Christ, “the head of every ruler and authority.” Free from condemnation, free to live and grow in relationship with Christ. Free to combine our faith with our action. Intimacy with Christ sets us free! That very thought fills us with thanksgiving.

Gracious and loving God, thank you for the fullness of life in union with Christ. Amen.

Pray the Scriptures Using Audio Lectio
Read Luke 11:1-13

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Lectionary Week
July 18–24, 2016
Scripture Overview

The Hosea passage implies that the rela- tionship between God and Israel is similar to a marriage that has been ruined by an unfaithful spouse. Yahweh has been scorned, and judgment is at hand. However, the prophet implants a reminder that Yahweh’s nal word is not destruction but redemption. Psalm 85 reveals a community of God’s people who are suspended between the “already” and the “not yet.” Colossians reminds the readers that no other force or personality may compete with Christ, for Christ and only Christ embodies “the whole fullness of deity.” Faith and action are one. Luke’s Gospel directs the disciples’ attention to their real needs, as well as reminding them of the only one who can ful ll those needs.

Questions and Suggestions for Reflection

• Read Hosea 1:2-10. Do you truly believe that nothing is beyond God’s redemptive love? How does that affect the way you live?
• Read Psalm 85. How do you respond to God’s forgiving, redemptive love? When have you experienced the healing and wholeness of that love?
• Read Colossians 2:6-19. How is your life rooted and estab- lished in Christ? What lls your life?
• Read Luke 11:1-13. How much do you trust God to provide for all you really need?

Respond by posting a prayer.

I join many of those who will pray for you as you seek to discern what you are called to be at this moment. May God grant you the courage to fulfill that calling. May we all open our eyes and see the misery, open our ears and hear the cries of God’s people, and, like God through the Lord Jesus Christ, be incarnate amongst them.” 

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