My grandparents’ church hosted a Turkey Dinner every fall for over 70 years. My great-grandmother, grandmother, grandfather, and other family members would help serve the meal to the families who bought the tickets to the dinner. When our extended family arrived, we would pass off the tasks we had to sit with our family and eat. And eat we did. Turkey, stuffing, potatoes, gravy, cole slaw, and cranberries. For drinks we had either tea, coffee, milk, or water. Dessert– wow, pumpkin, apple, or cherry pie with whipped cream. My brother and I called it “the annual stomach-stretching exercise.”
We looked forward to it every year, we were sad when we missed it due to college or distance, and we were grateful for every time we could gather together as a family one more time. It was almost better than Thanksgiving itself.
Paul writes to the church in Colossae saying, “My goal is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ, (Colossians 2:2-3). Paul longs for them to be filled, full, even stretched, with the wisdom and knowledge of God.
Later in Colossians 2 Paul says, “So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.” (verses 6-7). Our lives should be “overflowing with thankfulness” stretched beyond capacity, pouring out our gratitude for all that Christ has done within us.
Just as our stomachs are pushing at the buttons on our clothes when we finish eating, so too should we be fully filled with Christ. “For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, and in Christ you have been brought to fullness. He is the head over every power and authority.” (verse 9-10).
In a social culture where skinny is acceptable, we have come to believe that our Spiritual selves should be skinny, too. How sad; there is a feeling of contentment in the fullness of sitting at a table with friends and family, dishes scrapped clean with forks and bread, sopping up the last morsel of goodness.
Are we doing that with the soul-rich food our Savior offers? Why not?
Let us take the time to be filled “until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.” (Ephesians 4:13).
May we have stomachs stretched and spirits filled and blessings overflowing.
This season and always.