En Christo. Literally, In or into Christ. Paul wasn’t picky with his prepositions ending with Christo! With Christ, through Christ, by Christ…just about any motional preposition will do! While yesterday we explored the oddly comforting yet rarely stated Christian axiom that through baptism we are imprinted with the dying of Jesus such that our original or perhaps aboriginal selves have literally died, today we explore the rest of that bold claim! Paul wrote, If we have died with Christ, we have also been raised with Christ. It sounds so familiar and so simple. He says, Then in a very real sense it’s no longer me that’s doing the living, but the Christ within me who’s living now! To the (millennial-sounding) Colossians he wrote So if you have already been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above where Christ already abides, seated at God’s right hand. This is what Paul means with all those prepositions, especially being in Christ!
Could it be true? Could my aboriginal, sin-saturated self be the one who died and still is dying today?! Could there be rising inside of me a divinely natured, resurrection unleashed renewed self who is profoundly anchored in Christ, aligned with Christ, living through the presence of Christ within me?! Eucatastrophe indeed! This is the Johannine Jesus ( of course, always…) who proclaimed I came that you may have (real, authentic, resurrected, transformed, connected, fulfilled, freaking awesome) life, and experience my life in you abundantly!! Yes, I am supposed to be in Christ but praise the God who unleashes the Kingdom of the Heavens so powerfully that Christ resides so persuasively in me! That’s why I have a conscience! A moral compass! A vocabulary not always corrupted by south Tampa port profanity! A call to love others as God loves me and gave His own son for me! The world taught me to love others for what you could do for me but Jesus taught me to love because He loves me firstly, period. To forgive so many times I ultimately forgot that I forgave! That a grateful heart will never be disappointed, and an ingrateful heart can never be satiated, satisfied or at peace. Who are you in, and who’s in you right now?!
- I am becoming very emotional just so inadequately attempting to capture this profound gift in any written vocabulary. What I am desperately seeking to convey is not lecture but deepest heart/core experience. Have you felt what it feels like to be in Christ?! If not, why not here and now?!
- Let’s all unleash our inner youth minister or Christian camp counselor for a moment. Could we sit in our private prayer place and simply invite Jesus to come into our lives, fresh and new, today so we can be in Christ? Yes, you and I can invite the architect of the Kingdom of the Heavens inside of us in all His (sorry cannot help it) majestic glory?!
- In a very real sense, I have been crucified with Christ and am dead to the world. It’s longer me doing the living, but Christ who is doing the living inside of me! Galatians 2:20, paraphrased. May it be so.