14 February, Sunday
The Kingdom Advantage ©
Colossians 1:13-17 (NRSV)
He has rescued us from the power of darkness and transferred us into the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. 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. He himself is before all things, and in him all things hold together.
My niece, Kinsey, and I like to play board games. That's our thing! We play everything from Candy Land to The Game of Life. Our favorite game at the moment is the new and improved Empire Monopoly. In Empire Monopoly, the first person to fill up her miniature Empire State Building wins.
The thing is - although winning a game of Empire Monopoly requires some skill, it is mostly a game of chance. Neither Kinsey nor I have the benefit of knowing which roll of the dice will lead us to victory. Sometimes I win and sometimes my seven year-old niece wins the battle.
In today's Lenten devotional found in Colossians 1:13-17, we are reminded of another kind of battle; between good and evil. It is a spiritual conflict between the kingdom of darkness and the Kingdom of Light. The question is whose empire or Kingdom will win the war?
As we reflect on recurring acts of racism, rampant police brutality, inimical voter suppression tactics; and as we witness unbridled xenophobic rants, environmental racism in Flint, Michigan and the cold-blooded killing of Christian missionaries in Burkina Faso, it is easy to begin to question whose empire is winning. From the looks of it, it often seems that Satan's empire of darkness is conquering God's Kingdom of Light.
Despite the looming darkness, the apostle Paul assures us that the Kingdom of Light will triumph. First, Colossians 1:13-14, says God "has rescued us from the power of darkness and transferred us into the Kingdom of God's beloved Son, in whom we have redemption..." In other words, because of Christ's salvific work on the cross of Calvary we, as believers, have been transferred to the Kingdom of Light. Second, our victory is not left up to chance. Colossians 1:16 reveals that Jesus is the prime mover of all of creation; "by Him all things were created in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible... all things have been created through him and for Him." You see, there was never a time when Jesus was not. Jesus, was before time again. He knows the end from the beginning.
It's one thing to play a game; it's another thing to be its Designer. The truth is, citizens of the Kingdom of Light have an advantage. Jesus, as the Creator and Designer of all things, is privy to pertinent intel that promises a sure victory.
As citizens of the Kingdom of Light, Christ has granted us a permanent, prominent, preeminent place in His Kingdom. So, no matter what tactics the enemy employs, no matter what number the enemy rolls and no matter how dark it often seems, we can rest in the fact that as followers of Jesus, we are on the winning side.
As a citizen in the Kingdom of Light, what is your responsibility in a world that is inundated with darkness?
As the Creator and Designer of all things, Oh Lord, You have given us an advantage over the enemy and his tactics. Thank You for rescuing us from the power of darkness and granting us a permanent, prominent and preeminent place in Your Kingdom of Light. Thank You God that we always win! In Jesus' name, Amen.
By Rev. Demetria Edwards, CBFAR Coordinating Council member
New Hope Missionary Baptist Church, Lake Village
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