Wait…yoga mat, pearls, bulky scarf, Cole Haan tortoise shell sunglasses…PUMPKIN SPICE!!!! MY BASIC WHITE GIRL KIT MUST’VE COME TODAY!!! Now that we’ve all had a good laugh, let’s talk about something serious.
Last year I was doing course work for a worship leadership certificate through Grand Canyon University and one thing that I heard repeatedly from professors and literature was this: Bible books, especially the Epistles, were meant to be read in one sitting. They suggested that if you had time to sit down and read a book of the Bible in one sitting that you should definitely do it! So, from time to time, if I have noticed a particular book coming up a lot in my personal life, I’ll sit down and read it. Which is how I landed on Colossians today. Turns out, I’ve already read it since I started this and I considered skipping it. But then I thought, “You know…if the Holy Spirit thinks I need to give this another look, I should probably go with it.”
Right in chapter one our awesome God had a little wink/face palm for me. Starting in verse 24 Paul is explaining how glad he is that he is in prison instead of the believers he is writing to. He then starts talking about a glorious mystery that God has now made known to one and all “regardless of their background, regardless of their religious standing” (vs. 27 MSG). I do my one-book-one-sitting Bible reading out of the Message and I absolutely love the translation starting here in verse 27: “The mystery in a nutshell is just this: Christ is in you, therefore you can look forward to sharing in God’s glory. It’s that simple.” Y’all…it’s that simple!!! But then Paul takes it one step further and Eugene Peterson takes that step with him. “We preach Christ, warning people not to add to the message. We teach in a spirit of profound common sense so that we can bring each person to maturity. To be mature is to be basic.” Oh people of God hear it again:
“TO BE MATURE IS TO BE BASIC.”
We all had a good laugh over the idea of a “Basic White Girl Starter Kit”. But you know what I want to be? I want to be a “Basic Jesus Girl”. I want to get that box in the mail. If you got that box in the mail, do you know what would be inside it? Here’s a hint: Jesus. Okay, so it wasn’t a hint…it was the answer.
We so often get the idea that to be mature in Christ means to have more Bibles or study harder or spend time doing things in church. We believe complexity equals commitment. But do you understand what our good friend Paul is saying here? The more mature we are the more basic we become. We quit looking for the next Bible study or the new book or the mission trip or even the witnessing opportunity. We quit looking for a thing and start looking at a person. It’s that simple.
If we are going to be mature in God, we need to be basic. We need to require Jesus and nothing else. Will we find Him in the next Bible study? Probably. Will we see Him in that new book? Yuppers. On the mission trip? In the witnessing opportunity? You are correct sir! But we need to stop making this faith thing so much harder. The harder we make it…the harder our hearts grow toward the basic, simple Truth of the mystery of the message which is just this: Jesus…and that is all.