Christ in You, the Hope of Glory
Christ, and Christ alone, is the hope of glory.
I first heard these words from my dad (Rev. ISLO Ezigbo, a retired ECWA minister) during my teenage years. He often uttered the expression in situations that might appear hopeless. I later learned, when I began my theological studies, that “Christ, and Christ alone, is the hope of glory” was my dad’s paraphrase of lines from Colossians 1:27. Unsurprisingly, when the editorial board of DOXA asked me to write a short theological reflection on Colossians 1:27, I was overcome with nostalgia. My nostalgia for the past, however, was short-lived as I started reflecting on the horrendous experiences of people around the world, many of whom have been battered by the COVID-19 pandemic and its devastating impact on human lives, families, businesses, global economy, and national politics, to name just a few areas.1
1 In June 24, 2021, the World Health Organization (WHO) estimated that there were nearly 4 million reported deaths that were caused by COVID-19. This information can be accessed at https://covid19.who.int.
2 According to Christian tradition, the apostle Paul authored this epistle. However, he used a secretary (most likely Timothy) to write it.
3 For some helpful discussions on the range of meanings of Paul’s claim, see T. K. Abbott, The Epistles to the Ephesians and to the Colossians (Edinburgh: T & T Clark, 1964), 228-232, F. F. Bruce, The Epistles to the Colossians, to Philemon, and to the Ephesians (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1984), 81-84, Scot McKnight, The Letter to the Colossians (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2018).
4 For more discussions, see Martin Luther, “Two Kinds of Righteousness,” in Martin Luther’s Basic Theological Writings, edited by Timothy F. Lull (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1989), 155-164.
5 For a helpful discussion on the impact of human suffering on Christian life, especially the suffering that is the result of evil, see John Swinton, Raging with Compassion: Pastoral Responses to the Problem of Evil (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2007).
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