Don’t let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day. They are just a shadow of the things to come. The reality of life is found in Christ, not these rites.
Don’t let anyone who delights in false humility and the worship of angels disqualify you. Such a person…is puffed up with idle notions by their unspiritual mind. They have lost connection with the head (who is Christ) from the whole body... All these regulations have an appearance of wisdom, with their self-imposed worship, their harsh treatment of the body, but they lack any value in restraining sensual indulgence.
We know the world has nothing to offer us in righteousness and spirituality. To the Colossians, Paul makes it clear that religious ritual is no better. It is a vague representation of what can be in a person’s life. While the community of believers is important, too much of a structural façade removes us from relationship with Jesus, the Christ, and each other. Learning and engaging with the advancing kingdom, all under the rule of Christ, usually requires we look outside of rules and into relationship with a needy world. False worship is concocted by people, but we are called to only worship Christ and serve his purposes.
God doesn’t require fancy, complicated and fabricated religious practices. His plan is simple: focus on knowing Jesus and advancing His Kingdom His way. No other is needed. No other system of religiosity satisfies. All the rules, the rites, the requirements do nothing to bring a life to bear into life in the Kingdom.
Jesus is the Way, the Truth, the Life. Finding ways to engage the truths Jesus purports requires more than just showing up, more than passive acquiescence to another’s design for worship and a life well-lived. Determine to be in hot pursuit of the living Christ. Following Jesus wholeheartedly will clarify life and the choices you may face. All else will fall away.
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