“What, exactly, were you taught?”
Marie Onwubuariri, Regional Executive Minister
“As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving.”
Colossians 2:6-7 (NRSV)
The four imperatives that fuel and frame the ministry efforts of the region staff are: rootedness, collaboration, growth, and transformation. We do not understand these imperatives to be independent from one another or necessarily interdependent for linear progression. Rather, we see it necessary that they are continually and cyclically present and engaged as we discern and pursue faithfulness in our collective call.
At our upcoming 173rd Annual Gathering of ABC Wisconsin, together we will give particular attention to “rootedness” while also exploring the other three imperatives. The program committee has chosen Colossians 2:6-7 as our theme scripture. These verses presented an exhortation to the Colossian believers to live out their faith according to their rootedness in and learning of Christ Jesus. If you continue to read the remainder of Chapter 2 you begin to see some of the things that tempted or oppressed them—both from without and within the religious institution—preventing them from “holding fast to the head, from whom the whole body, nourished and held together by its ligaments and sinews, grows with a growth that is from God” (2:19).
Those of us from and in the church may find it easy to agree with these two verses, believing that what we have been taught is indeed Christ Jesus, and how we live out our faith is indeed rooted in those teachings. Yet the question that glares out to me as I read these verses is, “What, exactly, were you taught?” I know I understand Jesus and try to model my life as a Jesus-follower quite differently than what I was taught in my early formative years, not that I was misled, but now, through expanding my classroom (collaboration), my faith and understanding have grown and been transformed. So, I am thankful for my deep roots in Christ, yet I know the building up in Him continues.
What exactly have you been taught in your faith, both implicitly and explicitly, how are you living these teachings out, and when was the last time you measured these things against the stories and teachings of Jesus Christ in our scriptures and living witness of Christ in the world today?