Christ and the World

This is stunning…..

Subversive Preaching in a Postmodern World – A Targum based on Colossians 1:15-20 by Brian J Walsh

In an image-saturated world,

a world of ubiquitous corporate logos

permeating your consciousness,

a world of dehydrated and captive imaginations

in which we are too numbed, satiated and co-opted,

to be able to dream of life otherwise.

A world in which the empire of global economic affluence

has achieved the monopoloy of our imaginations;

in this world,

Christ is the image of the invisible God.

In this world,

driven by images with a vengeance,

Christ is the image par excellence;

the image above all other images,

the image that is not a facade,

the image that is not trying to sell you anything,

the image that refuses to co-opt you.

Christ is the image of the invisible God.

The image of God;

a flesh and blood

here and now,

in time and history;

with joys and sorrows,

image of who we are called to be,

image-bearers of this God.

He is the source of a liberated imagination,

a sub-version of the empire,

because it all starts with him,

and it all ends with him.

Everything.

All things.

Whatever you can imagine,

visible and invisible;

mountains and atoms,

outer space, urban space, cyberspace.

Whether it be the Pentagon, Disneyland,

Microsoft, or AT&T.

Whether it be the institutionalised power structures

of the state, the academy or the market;

all things have been created in him and through him.

He is their source, their purpose, their goal;

even in their rebellion;

even in their idolatry.

He is the sovereign one,

their power and authority is derived at best,

parasitic at worse.

In the face of empire,

in the face of presumptuous claims to sovereignty,

in the face of the imperial and idolatrous forces in our lives;

Christ is before all things,

he is sovereign in life.

Not the pimped dreams of the global market,

not the idolatrous forces of nationalism,

not the insatiable desires of a consumerist culture.

In the face of a disconnected world,

where home is a domain in cyberspace,

where neighbourhood is a chat room,

where public space is a shopping mall,

where information technology promises

a tuned in, reconnected world;

all things hold together in Christ.

The creation is a deeply personal cosmos,

all cohering and interconnected in Jesus.

And this sovereignty takes on cultural flesh.

And this coherence of all things is socially embodied

in the church,

against all odds,

against most of the evidence.

In a “show me” culture where words alone don’t cut it,

the church is

the flesh and blood

here and now

in time and history,

with joys and sorrows

embodiment of this Christ;

as a body politic

around a common meal,

in alternative economic practices,

in radical service to the most vulnerable;

in refusal to the empire,

in love of this creation,

the church reimagines the world,

in the image of the invisible God.

In the face of a disappointed world of betrayal,

a world in which all fixed points have proven illusory,

a world in which we are anchorless and adrift,

Christ is the foundation,

the origin;

the way,

the truth,

and the life.

In the face of a culture of death,

a world of killing fields,

a world of the walking dead;

Christ is at the head of the resurrection parade,

transforming our tears of betrayal into tears of joy;

giving us dancing shoes for the resurrection party.

And this glittering joker

who has danced in the dragon’s jaws of death,

now dances with a dance that is full

of nothing less than the fullness of God.

This is the dance of the new creation;

this is the dance of life out of death.

And in this dance, all that was broken,

all that was estranged,

all that was alienated;

all that was dislocated and disconnected,

is reconciled,

comes home,

is healed

and is made whole.

Everything.

All things.

Whatever you can imagine,

visible and invisible;

mountains and atoms,

outer space, urban space, and cyber space,

every inch of creation,

every dimension of our lives;

all things are reconciled in him.

And it happens on a cross;

it all happens at a state execution,

where the governor did not commute the sentence.

It all happens at the hands of the empire

that has captured our imaginations.

It all happens through blood;

not through a power grab by the sovereign one.

It all happens in embraced pain

for the sake of others.

It all happens on a cross,

arms outstretched in embrace.

And this is the image of the invisible God.

This is the body of Christ.

Poem by Brian J Walsh from the Ekklesia website.

“Subversive Preaching in a Postmodern World – A Targum based on Colossians 1:15-20”

CROSSThis is a photo I took in a South Devon church graveyard

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