To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. 28 We proclaim him, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone fully mature in Christ. 29 To this end I strenuously contend with all the energy Christ so powerfully works in me. (Colossians 1:27-29, TNIV)
Hope. The word in Greek is ἐλπὶς, this has a meaning of prospect, hope, and “expectation”. Glory has a meaning of grandeur, splendor, majesty, of power. However, it is not for worldly power or as we understand it. It means something different, something deeper and more powerful. It means finding an identity in the One who came to give himself away to others, while having confidence in his identity.
When I was a kid, I wanted a bike like my best friend, Jeff Hume, for Christmas. Jeff was cool, if I had that bike, I’d be cool. I didn’t get that bike…and, at age 8 or 9, I kind of moped around a bit and wondered, why didn’t my parents give me the bike that I wanted, I even showed it to them in the store! Later, as I matured and grew older, I realized that my parents made sacrifices for me and it made a huge difference in how I viewed them, and myself. My attitude changed.
Friends, God has made huge sacrifices for us, even the ultimate sacrifice. His relationship with us cost him greatly, on the cross and throughout history. Yet, this God continues to love us and shares his love with everyone (vs. 28).
We have a deep need to cultivate this awareness that Christ is residing in us! Not in some building or program, but in us!
As we approach 2014, may it be a year filled with expectation!