Advent 2010 - Past Present Synergy

synergy syn·er·gy (sĭn'ər-jē) n.The interaction of two or more agents or forces so that their combined effect is greater than the sum of their individual effects.

Colossians 1

21 Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior. 22 But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation— 23 if you continue in your faith, established and firm, and do not move from the hope held out in the gospel.

It seems from these verses that the our 'blessed' state is contingent upon our obedience - that we will be presented holy and blameless "if" we remain faithful - as if our eternal salvation depends on our performance.

In the Greek, the "if" is not an “if” of the future; it is an “if” of the past. It indicates an assumption of truth. Paul assumes that the Colossians will continue in the faith. The word can be translated “since": "since indeed you continue in the faith."

How is that possible? Our 'blessed state' is an accomplished fact. It's something DONE for us. We living in a 'blessed' way is a proof of that reality, not a means for it.

Point: God calls us to become who we already are.

We are children "qualified [by the Father] to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light. 13 For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins." (Colossians 1)

We are in an 'already but not yet' state of being. We are to become who we already are. It's a paradoxical way of looking at identity.

Often times when it comes to our identity, we focus on the not-yet, or we focus on the already. We focus on one or the other, leading to burn-out or a passivity.

The Christian comes at identity from both sides making for a kind of synergy. We have drive but are not driven because we already are who we are becoming. And yet we can rest without becoming passive because we are becoming who we already are.

This season bring together the already (the first Advent) with the not-yet (the second Advent). It's a cause for both celebration (rest) and anticipation (drive) - at the same time. It brings together what has been done (our rescue) with what is to become (our restoration). Combined, their effects are greater than the sum of their individual effects in our lives!