We don’t get them often, but Pastor and I received one last week.

An angry email.

1,899 words from someone who doesn’t know us at all — someone I don’t think I’ve even met, in fact.

1,899 words detailing our many failures and flaws.

God knows we have them. I’ve tried to be perfect, but it takes so much perfection.

In the Apostle Paul’s letter to the Colossians, his first description of our deliverer, Jesus, is this –

He is the image of the invisible God (1:15).

There are two things that leap out of this sentence.

First, our God is invisible. Right there in black and white, Paul admits it. We worship Someone we cannot see.

Immortal, invisible, God only wise; in light inaccessible, hid from our eyes, as the old hymn says.

Second, Christ is the visible image of this invisible God. The Greek word here is literally statue or likeness, an exact and solid representation of the supernatural Spirit.

To many, the first point is foolishness, like having a great Imaginary Friend in the Sky.

And, if we admit it, it must sometimes feel odd to our own hearts as well. Otherwise we would not behave as the Israelites did when left alone in the desert, looking to carve our own image of the invisible God out of the first thing we see…

Our spouses. Our children. Our jobs. Our churches. Our stuff. Our productivity. Our bank accounts. Our politics. Our friends. Our pastors, perhaps.

Don’t you dare let me down, we say.

But these statues cannot bear the weight of our love and desires.

They will crack. They will break. They will not stand up under our ideals. If they don’t collapse under our weight, they certainly will under the smashing blow and weight of the true statue – the true Cornerstone — the true image of the invisible God that is Christ.

He bought us with a price, and He demands no other occupy His throne.

Our idols fail us not only because they are flawed. They also fail us precisely because we put our hope in them.

God will not yield His glory to another.

We must watch where we lean, for their sake and ours.

Read the next post in The Colossians Project.