"Walk in Christ" Colossians 2:6-15
In preparation for our visit to Mexico City, Jon and I have been spending a little time on the history of Mexico. One of the major turning points in the history of Mexico City is when the Spanish conquistador, Hernán Cortés, descended on Mexico City (or Tenochtitlán– at the time) to besiege this Aztec capital. Now Cortés is a paradoxical character. He leads the massacre of thousands of people, destroying a whole civilization, and rivals the Aztec in violence with their human sacrifices and oppression of other local tribes, by his own deceit and cruelty. But the conflicting part of the story is that each time before Cortés went into battle he would go to mass and receive the Eucharist. We would receive the very body of Christ and then go and inflict violence on his neighbor. Although he had received Christ, his actions were not very different than the Aztecs whose gods demanded violence. You might say he had received Christ, but did not walk in Christ. His life did not fully reflect what he had received.
The words of the Apostle Paul in Colossians 2: 6-7 are instructive here:
Therefore as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thankfulness.
This is not an unfamiliar reality to us. We know and maybe some of us are people who have received Christ but we practice our faith our own terms; unwilling to allow Christ to saturate every part of our life. Cortés is an extreme 1500’s version of this, but there is 2020 version. I’ll take Jesus, but at the end of day I am going to say what I want and treat people however I want. I’m going to do whatever I want with my body, my money, and my time.
The instructions from Paul to the Christians at Colossae and to us is as you have received Christ, keep move towards Christ. Walk in Christ. Be rooted and built up and established in him. If we glance back a few verses in Colossians 1:28. Paul says:
“Christ we proclaim, warning everyone, teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone mature in Christ.”
Paul is inviting us this to move towards Christian maturity.
NT Wright (a former bishop) gives a good image of this. He says “being a Christian is like riding a bike. Unless you go forward you fall off.” It’s really hard to balance in place on a bike. Going “Forward” means into Christ, towards Christ. Walk in Christ.