Growing up in Mexico, with a culture so centered around authority and respect, there were not that many instances when Dad had to explain himself.
It was from God, to him, to the rest of us in his family. It was clear that he was in charge. He knew it. We knew it.
In some occasions, I was able to see the benefit of such social arrangement. But I also was able to see – and experience – the negative side of this cultural trend. It made for a good system that expedited response from the part of the subjects. There was neither need nor time to think about the orders coming from Dad. Your response and compliance was expected, and most of the time, it worked for my own good.
But I also saw the abuse that such a system encouraged. And we, Mexicans, are famous for those abuses.
If God were to take the same approach – and he could easily and rightfully do it – the letter to the Colossians would be rather short:
Stop doing what you are doing wrong.
Do what I have ordered you to do.
Because I say so; I’m God!
I’ll check with you later.
But that is not the case. Why? Why would God not do it like that? That’s my first owl.
He does not go that route, even when He is the only one who can really take it, because He is like no one else. It’s because He wants to make it clear, for everyone, that there is no one like him. Scripture calls that evidence, that clear indication that He is totally different, his glory.
I strongly believe that we take for granted the amazing reality that God speaks to His people. I think that our own sin tries to, somehow, downsizes God to a more manageable level, to the level of our friend, partner, buddy.
The God of all creation, the Owner and Sustainer, the One that transcends talks to us, simple, mortal, limited humans.
Isn’t that amazing?!
Driving this letter, between what Paul does and what he’s asking the believers in this city to do, are two facts about Jesus Christ : one related to who he is, and the other related to what he does.
But these two facts are not presented in a vacuum, isolated, and just stated like many of us parents would do (“I’m your father! Do as I say.“) Nope, God provides the evidence, the proof that supports those two facts.
He elaborates. He converse. He removes all our excuses, and by doing that His glory is clear.
He takes the time to talk to us. We do not deserve that. He does it in a way that it’s easy for us to understand. There is no one like Him.
To see, enjoy, and share the beauty of Jesus Christ in cultural diversity.