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Trust Fall by Kim Kankiewicz

In this week’s sermon on Colossians 1:15-23, we’ll hear God described as an invisible creator of visible and invisible things. This is a breathtaking passage, upholding Christ as the image of the invisible God. Look to Christ, Paul says, and we’ll see the fullness of God.

Still, following an invisible God sometimes feels to me like a trust fall, that team-building activity in which one group member falls backward into the interlocking arms of the remaining members. If you’ve participated in a trust fall, you probably experienced a free-falling sensation and some uncertainty about your team’s strength and reliability.

These are the same feelings I experience in times of transition: butterflies in my stomach and nagging doubts about the outcome as if God is a co-worker who might drop me. But of course, God’s arms are not fallible. This truth stood out to me recently, while singing “Leaning on the Everlasting Arms” at Second Baptist. It turns out that the Bible has a lot to say about God’s arms. Even before he took on flesh and made himself visible among us, God gave his followers a tangible image of his presence. I’m encouraged by these descriptions of the arms that draw me close and catch me when I fall.

God’s arms are not human arms.

How you have helped the powerless! How you have saved the arm that is feeble.                             

Job 26:2

Do you have an arm like God’s, and can your voice thunder like his?                                                 

Job 40:9

God’s arms are strong.

Your arm is endued with power; your hand is strong, your right hand exalted.

Psalm 89:13

God’s arms are gentle.

He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those who have young.

Isaiah 40:11

God’s arms are holy.

Sing to the Lord a new song, for he has done marvelous things; his right hand and his holy arm have worked salvation for him.

Psalm 98:1

God’s arms will fight for you.

With him is only the arm of flesh, but with us is the Lord our God to help us and to fight our battles.

2 Chronicles 32:8

You crushed Rahab like one of the slain; with your strong arm, you scattered your enemies.

Psalm 89:10

God’s arms will reach for you.

…With a mighty hand and outstretched arm; his love endures forever.

Psalm 136:12

God’s arms will redeem you.

But they are your people, your inheritance that you brought out by your great power and your outstretched arm.

Deuteronomy 9:29

With your mighty arm, you redeemed your people, the descendants of Jacob and Joseph.

Psalm 77:15

God’s arms will bless you.

O Lord, be gracious to us; we wait for you. Be our arm every morning, our salvation in the time of trouble.

Isaiah 33:2

God’s arms will bless the nations.

For men will hear of your great name and your mighty hand and your outstretched arm.

1 Kings 8:42

The Lord will lay bare his holy arm in the sight of all the nations, and all the ends of the earth will see the salvation of our God.

Isaiah 52:10

God’s arms will sustain you.

My hand will sustain him; surely my arm will strengthen him.

Psalm 89:21

God’s arms bring justice.

The Lord will cause men to hear his majestic voice and will make them to see his arm coming down with raging anger and consuming fire, with cloudburst, thunderstorm, and hail.

Isaiah 30:30

My righteousness draws near speedily, my salvation is on the way, and my arm will bring justice to the nations. The islands will look to me and wait in hope for my arm.

Isaiah 51:5

God’s arms created the universe

Ah, Sovereign Lord, you have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and outstretched arm. Nothing is too hard for you.

Jeremiah 32:17

God’s arms rule the universe.

See, the Sovereign Lord comes with power and his arm rules for him.

Isaiah 40:10

God’s arms will never let you go.

The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms.

Deuteronomy 33:27

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