What a beautiful picture! Fullness of life in Christ is not the fulfillment of the law (following with perfection the rules and laws of the land), but it is the growth of the body of Christ – it lives and breathes.
The law stifles. How impossible it is to do everything correctly! How suffocating to try to do what is right – especially when humans cannot even agree to what is right and what is wrong. For a time I worked hard to become more physically healthy. What I found in the process of learning is that it is nearly impossible to satisfy all the tenets of healthy living and at the same time lift up other values as well.
When I tried to eat less processed foods and more organics, I found that the prices of many organic and whole foods are much higher than processed foods. So while I improved my health, I damaged my pocketbook and became a less frugal steward of the gifts God had given me.
When I tried to follow a diet low in carbs, I learned that many proteins can be detrimental not only to health, but also to the environment. Chicken, it seems, can be linked to certain cancers, as can beef and pork. And the ozone has been damaged by the gasses produced by cattle raised for beef and milk.
When I tried to eat vegan – well, let's be honest – this girl couldn't find enough to eat in a day. Juicing just about made me sick, and quinoa is just not tasty. I guess I'm just too old and set in my ways to make a change that major.
Throughout my health journey I found myself stuck between a rock and a hard place more than once. It seems trying to satisfy the law is not life giving at all, if even possible.
No, peace is found in the flawed, messy, disorganized stuff of life. I find life in the mistakes, in the shared experiences, in the learning, and in the trying more than the succeeding. Jesus meets us in the muck – growth happens from the dirt on up.
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. See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the universe, and not according to Christ. For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily, and you have come to fullness in him, who is the head of every ruler and authority. In him also you were circumcised with a spiritual circumcision, by putting off the body of the flesh in the circumcision of Christ; when you were buried with him in baptism, you were also raised with him through faith in the power of God, who raised him from the dead.
And when you were dead in trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you alive together with him, when he forgave us all our trespasses, erasing the record that stood against us with its legal demands. He set this aside, nailing it to the cross. He disarmed the rulers and authorities and made a public example of them, triumphing over them in it.
Therefore do not let anyone condemn you in matters of food and drink or of observing festivals, new moons, or sabbaths. These are only a shadow of what is to come, but the substance belongs to Christ. Do not let anyone disqualify you, insisting on self-abasement and worship of angels, dwelling on visions, puffed up without cause by a human way of thinking, and not 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.