I had a student in several of my classes who was from Russia. Just before graduation she gave me a babushka doll – a set of wooden dolls of decreasing size placed one inside another. This doll had just two dolls, and I thanked my student for the gift.
A few years later I found myself looking at the doll and I had a small epiphany. I had been memorising Colossians 3, and first four verses all talk about dying and rising with Christ and how our lives are “hidden” in Christ. This concept was hard to understand. How did I die with Jesus? Or rise with him? How was my life “in” Christ? And does it really matter? Apparently it does, because St. Paul uses the phrases “in Christ” and “Christ in us” 89 times. That is a lot, I thought, so it must be important, even if I do not understand what it really means.
I realised that the Russian dolls illustrate both kinds of “in”. When I focus on the bigger doll hiding the smaller doll, I think about how I am “in Christ”. Jesus is like the bigger doll, and I live and move within him. This is very comforting and encouraging as I think about how, by God’s grace, have received all that Jesus is and does and has done – forgiveness, reconciliation, life, healing, power, wisdom.
When I focus on the smaller doll inside the bigger doll, sometimes I reflect on how Christ is “in me”. Again, by God’s grace, I have new life in me; the very life and power that raised Jesus from the dead lives in me. I don’t know how this works, but I know that it is a reality by the ways Jesus works in me and through me.
I am one in whom Christ dwells. Or as St. Paul puts it: my life is hidden with Christ in God.
My life is safe, secure and hidden in Christ Jesus. I have nothing to fear this day, or any day.
Thank you, Jesus, for establishing my life in you. May I walk in the glorious freedom that nothing can harm me. Help me to live each breath today in wonder over this great truth.
Have you ever felt really alone? If so, how might the truth of this verse bring comfort to you?
In what “earthly” ways do you try to find safety, security and significance?