There’s a story told of a lecturer who brings a see-through bucket to class one day. He proceeds to fill it with large rocks and then asks the students if they think the bucket is full. Most of the students think it is. He then proceeds to add smaller stones that fill in the gaps among the big rocks. He asks the class members if the bucket is now full. Fewer answer positively this time. The lecturer then pours in fine sand that closes the gaps between the rocks and stones. He then asks if the bucket is full. The students feel reluctant to answer. The lecturer then pours water into the bucket filling any remaining gaps and asks, “Is it full now?” The students all believe it to be full—they can’t imagine how he can fit anything more in—but few are willing to say so. The lecturer then asks what lesson they can learn from this exercise. One student yells out, “You can always fit more stuff in!” “No,” the lecturer responds. “The lesson is this: What you put in first determines what you can add later.”
What fills your life? What “more” are you trying to add?
Today’s reading indicates that many who wanted to fill their lives with anything other than Christ heavily influenced the church at Colossae. The writer emphasizes that “In [Christ]the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily, and you have come to fullness in him.”
Christ is filled with God, and we are filled with Christ. As long as we remain rooted and established in Christ, all we need will fill us. Christ is the one who should fill our lives first—in Christ our lives are fulfilled.
Lord, help us to put you first in our lives. Amen.
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.
• 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?
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