Day 17: That we wouldn’t be satisfied with shadows
Therefore let no one pass judgment on you in questions of food and drink, or with regard to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath. These are a shadow of the things to come, but the substance belongs to Christ. Let no one disqualify you, insisting on asceticism and worship of angels, going on in detail about visions, puffed up without reason by his sensuous mind, and not holding fast to the Head, from whom the whole body, nourished and knit together through its joints and ligaments, grows with a growth that is from God. (Colossians 2:16-19 ESV)
What would you think of me if I took my wife on a date and while eating pizza I only talked to her shadow and ignored her? Or if while watching a movie I tried cuddling up to her shadow? Or when we went out dancing I started slow dancing with her shadow? You’d think I was a nut, and rightly so. You don’t dance with shadows when the substance is right there. And yet so many Christians and churches are satisfied with shadows. We spend our time focusing on food, drink, festivals, new moons, and Sabbath’s and miss the gospel. Let us not think that what we need is asceticism, or visions, or anything of the sort. Instead may we as churches realize that we have been given the substance—Jesus Christ. No more dancing with shadows.
Father, we thank you for the gift of Your Son. In Him is Your fullness. We have everything we need in Jesus. And, yet, we confess our propensity to dance with shadows. Perhaps, given our finitude, shadows are more comfortable. Rescue us from this foolishness. Help us to not be satisfied with shadows but to actively pursue lasting enjoyment of You—our substance.
*Adapted from 31 days of prayer for the church