“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom,
teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs,
singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.”
Father Matta El-Meskeen (Matthew the Poor)
READING THE GOSPEL is one thing, while often repeating Christ’s words, as when learning the table of multiplication, until Christ’s words come, as if from the heart, is another matter. Because the place for Christ’s word, according to God’s intent and its elevated value in our life, is not in the mind, no matter how much we try to learn it by rote, but the place for Christ’s word is truly in the heart, to live in as the most precious possession in life. The Bible says that if the word of Christ enters the heart it enriches it i.e. making it greater than money and riches1. For the word of Christ is like Christ in that if it lives in us we will not go back to living for ourselves because Christ Himself lives in us.
When the Bible states: “the word of Christ dwell in you richly,” it means straight away that man has moved from the ephemeral image of humanity to the image of Christ through the living word, giving life.
As the world obliges us to learn names, places and numbers God obliges us to learn the word of Christ in wisdom and depth, striving to reveal that which is hidden in the word as far as meanings and tendencies, increasing within us the wisdom of Christ and His riches in glory.
The word of the cross to people of the world is folly, while among us, who believe in Christ, “it is the power of God”2, the wisdom of God, the consolation of God, and the riches of God in glory. As a result and according to the commandment of the Bible we must be filled with the fullness of Christ as a gained right, because it is for our sake and only for us: “In Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily.”3 ‘Bodily’ means man is right away part of the Godhead, because Christ, may He be glorified, became incarnate accepting in His body the fullness of the Godhead for us to share. The Bible’s verse continues with the words saying: “and you are complete in Him.”4 What glory! We must therefore draw the astute reader’s attention here not to ignore the opportunity offered him by finding it difficult, because in truth it is a matter that surpasses the mind. So what is there to do? If God has previously and from the beginning planned for us this fullness in the Godhead of Christ bodily then all we have to do is to believe God. God never lies and everything He has said is recorded by heaven and impressed in time throughout the pages of years remaining for every man to read. God will not be quiet until every man is filled with the fullness of Christ. What actually is faith in Christ? That all should believe in Him, for all people to attain the full stature of the perfect man. Who is the perfect man? He is in “the stature of the fullness of Christ.”5 We creep along with faith hoping the countenance of God to increase our faith and unite our hearts to become a perfect man in Christ, more exactly of the fullness of the stature of Christ in glory.
The purpose of God’s intention from our renewed creation in the image of Christ, is to increase every day, nay every hour, in accordance to the stature of the knowledge of Christ, deepening the knowledge of every word He said so as to reach the true revelation in God and Christ. At this point our stature in Christ will increase and our knowledge of God and Christ will be renewed to finally reach the fullness of this stature. This is the mystery of our Christian life in God for which we live. If we do not increase in faith and the knowledge of the Son of God as the Bible says: “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly.”6 Then why do we live? Do we eat, sleep and wake up to eat and sleep? Dear brothers, our life in Christ is on its own qualified for that glory due to the flow of grace that God daily and every morning pours into our hearts. We are required to respond to the nature of God within us its desire being for us to seek God, nay to know Him and know His intention for us. For such He created us and renewed our creation, and for that reason He outpoured on us His Spirit and grace. If the word of God does not dwell richly in our hearts then the enemy will live in our hearts with his passions and falsifications of the truth.
The Bible incites us to meet together for a psalm or hymn to increase within us the fervor and warmth of Christ. We notice the words “singing in your hearts to the Lord” which is the action of those who are fervent with the grace of God, whose hearts are devoted to praising the Lord, which no one hears being in the heart, but is heard by angels and the spirit of saints. We thus join the spirits and moving souls in silent praise the angels contend.
I know a lady, whom God honored with His grace, who was seated beside me on one side while her husband was on the other and I heard an extremely beautiful tune emanating from inside her while her mouth was closed. When I asked her husband he told me that when she becomes fervent through the spirit she becomes carried away and no more felt the existence around her nor the words of other people. I know that to be carried away through the spirit is one of the cases of deep prayer when the mind is carried away witnessing matters God reveals to man. It is an elevated practice of prayer through the spirit.
June 30, 2005
1 Ps 119:14.
2 1Cor 1:18.
3 Col 2:9.
4 Col 2:10.
5 Eph 4:13.
6 Col 3:16.
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