Our Bible reading for today comes from St Paul’s letter to the Colossians. Chapter three the first four verses.
Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. (Colossians 3:1-3)
Back in 2011 at a baseball game down in Texas, a young father, thirty-nine years old, was hoping to catch a baseball that was being thrown up into the crowd from one of the baseball players on the field. And in order to try and reach that baseball away from everybody else he stretched himself way out and he ended up falling down onto the concrete. And because of that injury he ultimately died. His goal was to try to get this little baseball for his son. Think how sad that this man gave up his life for something that maybe on eBay would have only been about twenty or twenty-five dollars.
It’s kind of a picture of what we can be like sometimes in this world. There are a lot of things that the world puts in front of us that that can really get our attention. That seemed so important at the time. And yet we might, sad to say, be willing to give up the greater gift that we have of life in heaven just to pursue the things of this world that are really so fleeting and ultimately not worth that much. The greatest things that we can get in this life, the glory of this life, is really so fleeting and passing away. Even though at the moment it might seem pretty exciting. Solomon in the Old Testament refers to it as “grasping for wind.”
Listen to what St. Paul says to each of us who believe in Jesus because of the resurrection. He says “your life is hidden with Christ in God.” The Greek word there means to have something be concealed. It’s the word that we get cryptic from. That something is hidden and secretive. So the life that we have in heaven is now hidden in Christ. When we have faith in him. The believers’ glory that we possess is something you can’t see in this world and yet it’s the very thing that motivates us as Christians as we look forward to the day will be in heaven. But our glory in this life will be covered. And a lot of times we’ll have to go through hardships and difficulties and and struggle with weaknesses and troubles. A lot of times we walk around in situations where it appears the world is almost walking all over us and things don’t always go the way that we would like in this world.
But imagine if we could see ourselves the way God sees us as His children. Citizens of heaven already through faith in Christ. And that someday we’re going to reign with Christ forever in that beautiful home above. Through faith in Jesus, your life has already died in that sense to this world and it’s now alive with Christ. Listen to what Paul says. “You died and your life is hidden with Christ in God.” Jesus said it to us this way “where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” So God wants us to be dead to the things of this world, but alive to the things that we have in heaven.
Now that doesn’t mean that our life on Earth doesn’t matter. During the 1800s there were a lot of immigrants that came over from Europe. And in order to get to the new land they would take positions on ships where they just worked with luggage and cleaning and things like that. Their real goal while on the ship was to get to the new land. And yet they realized they had important duties while they were on the ship as well. That’s how a Christian can look at his or her vocation in this life. God would not have us think that the things we do in this world are irrelevant. No, in fact the very fact that he’s taking us to the new land of heaven should make us look at the things we have in this life and use them in an even better way in a more godly way. Knowing that our life is now hidden with Christ in the home above.
Let us close with a prayer.
Lord God our Heavenly Father, we thank you for giving us faith in our Savior help us to always seek the things that are above in heaven where our Savior is. Help us to not fix our minds and things on the things of this life, but rather on the beautiful home you have waiting for us. We pray this all in the name of Christ our Risen Savior. Amen.