Daily Archives: February 22, 2012

Week 50: The Great Architect

I had plugged my iPod into the radio converter I purchased a few months back in an attempt to save money and space on burning multiple CDs, opting to listen to a steady stream of music without the ads, news or other tidbits of sometimes useless information during a brief 30 minute trip back to downtown from Blaine, Minnesota. I rounded a curve on I-94S and the skyline of downtown Minneapolis came into view, leaving me breathless, as it usually does. The road lay before me, leading into this man-made wonder.

Just as I approached the fourth street exit, a song by Owl City came on…a one man band from this very part of the state: Designer Skyline. I couldn’t help but smile and be awed by the ideas and level of creativity that God has given man.

Affection, the gifted architect
Is making a draft and beautiful design
The options and possibilities
Are endless when we connect and re-align…
Until I’m convinced these plans are picturesque
Like the mountains in the Midwest…

A city sparkles in the night
How can it glow so bright?
The neighborhoods surround the soft florescent light
Designer skyline in my head
Abstract and still well-read
You went from numbered lines to buildings overhead.

I sometimes wonder if Adam Young (the voice behind Owl City) wrote that last part about the Minneapolis skyline. Granted, the skylines of San Francisco and New York City are gorgeous too…but it pales in comparison to Minneapolis (at least in my humble opinion).

God created all that we see. He created you and… He created me. On His creation, enabled through Christ, He bestows His unfailing love affectionately. God is the Great Architect. He started with Creation, followed it up with the flood (I firmly believe that this is where the mountains and the Grand Canyon came from – just to name a few wonders on this terrestrial planet) and He continues, with each changing season. He gives ideas to men, who then work to create such wonderful masterpieces, from David by Michelangelo to the art at the Walker Art Museum, the works in the Sculpture Garden to the downtown skyline, the Statue of Liberty to the monument in DC…the list is endless.

We serve an amazing, creative God. How majestic is He!

Psalm 8 NLT

O LORD, our Lord, Your majestic name fills the earth!
Your glory is higher than the heavens.
You have taught children and infants
to tell of Your strength,
silencing Your enemies
and all who oppose You.

When I look at the night sky and see the works of Your fingers –
the moon and the stars You set in place –
what are mere mortals that You should think about them,
human beings that You should care for them?
Yet You made them only a little lower than God
and crowned them with glory and honor.
You gave them charge of everything You made,
putting all things under their authority –
the flocks and the herds
and all the wild animals,
the birds of the sky, the fish in the sea,
and everything that swims in the ocean currents.

O LORD, our Lord, Your majestic name fills the earth!

 

The Head of the Church

Christ is also head of the church, which is His body. He is the beginning, supreme over all who rise from the dead. So He is first in everything. For God in all His fullness was pleased to live in Christ, and through Him God reconciled everything to Himself. He made peace with everything in heaven and on earth by means of Christ’s blood on the cross. Colossians 1:18-20

Paul pictured the church as one body that consists of many parts (see 1 Corinthians 12). A body made entirely of ears wouldn’t be able to walk. A body made entirely of legs wouldn’t be able to eat. A body made entirely of hands wouldn’t be able to see. In the same way, a diversity of people and spiritual gifts is exactly what the church needs to thrive. The key, of course, is a head. Without a head to run the show, a body is just a corpse. In the case of the church, the Head is Christ. He’s the One in charge!

Christ’s headship over the church is yet another facet of His greatness and glory (v. 18). He is also “the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead.” Just as He rose from the dead with a glorified body, so also will we (see 1 Corinthians 15). Because of Him, death has lost its sting and the gift of eternal life is ours. This has been God’s plan all along: “For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be  the firstborn among many brothers and sisters” (Rom. 8:29). In everything Christ has the supremacy.

Christ’s identity and mission are closely intertwined. His identity is fully God, that is, “God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him” (v. 19). In His humanity, Christ’s mission on earth was redemption and reconciliation. Why reconciliation? Because of sin, we were God’s enemies. We were in a state of war with the Almighty, and peace needed to be made. But we were enslaved in the “dominion of darkness” and incapable of rescuing ourselves. So God reached out to us and made “peace through his blood, shed on the cross” (v. 20). The state of war ended, thanks to the sacrifice of the Victor Himself.

Paul celebrated the identity and mission of Christ in order to remind the Colossians of the Person and truth who had transformed their lives, and to call them (and us) to worship and live worthy of Him.

Every believer has one or more spiritual gifts that are to be used in service to the body of Christ, the church. These gifts are given and cultivated by the Holy Spirit. A variety of gifts is necessary for the health of the church (see 1 Cor. 12:6–7). Are we using our gifts to participate in the life of the church? Just as our gift of salvation should prompt us to live in gratitude, so also our spiritual gifts should encourage us to live in service to God and others.

Christ is head. Whom will you follow?