July 19, 2012
"He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation; for in him all things in heaven and on earth were created, things visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or powers - all things have been created through him and for him."
Reflection by Donna Schaper
Many of the best stories are stories of origin. The best conversation-starter is how did you meet? When did you meet? How do you know each other? The second best is how some kind of problem turned into some kind of opportunity. People love reversal stories. The letter to the people at Colossus is very much one of origin and of reversal. The invisible, original God became visible and present in the now.
I love the way some English-speaking people have funny language for things. Like the way a thrift shop in Australia is either an opportunity shop or a reject shop, depending on your social location. Or the way a car that we call a lemon is called a "defect" car in Britain. A pastor tells me that someone parked a "defect" in front of his church outside London. Because such parking is illegal and the owner of the abandoned car was being fined every day – adding poverty to poverty upon poverty - the pastor decided to push the car into the church parking lot. A few days later, another defect showed up, followed by a third and fourth. Clearly things were getting out of hand. That's when one of the laymen decided it was time to start a microbusiness at the church. The business was fixing up cars. The church made money, people got their wheels back and everybody knew they had turned a lemon into lemonade.
Sometimes I think this is why the invisible God became visible. To remove the defect in our eye. To show us a glimpse of how wonderful life could be, even after the parking tickets arrive.
O God, help us to see you in all of creation, particularly the parts that first look like defects to us. Amen.
About the Author
Donna Schaper is the Senior Minister of Judson Memorial Church in New York City. Her latest work is 20 Ways to Keep Sabbath, from The Pilgrim Press. Check out her work at www.judson.org.
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