This post might be a little bit long, and it might seem as if it is actually two posts, combined, but I have a point, and all will be tied together at the end, I hope.
This is Logos, which means that I write about one of the lectionary readings -- each Monday in the summer. Today will be centered on Colossians 1:1-14
. I'm taking it bit by bit, and there will be a unifying theme to my comments at the end, so just stick with me.Verses 1 and 2: Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and Timothy our brother, To the saints and faithful brothers and sisters in Christ in Colossae: Grace to you and peace from God our Father.
--> I really like how Paul speaks so often of grace. Plus, do you see the greeting of peace? Remember the lectionary reading from yesterday? The sending of the 70? Jesus tells them to go into people's homes and show them peace. Tell them of the presence of God.Verse 3 and 4
: In our prayers for you we always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, for we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love that you have for all the saints,
. Paul is praying for them, and he wants them to know it. It is a blessing to know that someone is lifting you to God in concern and prayer.Verses 5 and 6a: because of the hope laid up for you in heaven. You have heard of this hope before in the word of the truth, the gospel that has come to you.
Paul is praising them because they have been open to the word of God and have learned of him. It is a task we should never abandon. The more we know of God, in our hearts; the higher our hope will be. "The gospel that has come to you." Gospel = truth. When we learn of the truth, it will change us.Verse 6b: Just as it is bearing fruit and growing in the whole world, so it has been bearing fruit among yourselves from the day you heard it and truly comprehended the grace of God. Seek
--> Listen to that verse again, this time from The Message: From the very first day you heard and recognized the truth of what God is doing, you've been hungry for more.
As we learn the truth -- as the gospel comes to us -- we become seekers. I love the phrase, "hungry for more."Verses 7 and 8: This you learned from Epaphras, our beloved fellow servant. He is a faithful minister of Christ on your behalf, and he has made known to us your love in the Spirit. Teach
--> Paul is praising the one who brought the Colossians this message -- their teacher. Sometimes we think of teaching as standing in front of a class, teaching, in a formal sense of the word. We all teach, in so many different ways. By our acts, our presence, our love and sometimes even our words. We are all called to teach.Verses 9 - 11: For this reason, since the day we heard it, we have not ceased praying for you and asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of God's will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so that you may lead lives worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, as you bear fruit in every good work and as you grow in the knowledge of God. May you be made strong with all the strength that comes from his glorious power, and may you be prepared to endure everything with patience,
--> It must be important for the Colossians to know of Paul's prayers because he's telling them about his prayers, once again. Twice in 9 verses. "We have not ceased praying for you..."Verse 10:
A repeat from above, it's the "so that" of Paul's prayer: so that you may lead lives worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, as you bear fruit in every good work and as you grow in the knowledge of God. Act
--> Paul is praying that they will be so filled with God, that they will act -- they will bear fruit for God in their good work. We've heard that faith without works is dead. It is a sign of death, if we are not fruitful. May we be so filled with God's grace and love that action is something that we cannot not do.Verses 12-14: while joyfully giving thanks to the Father, who has enabled you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the light. He has rescued us from the power of darkness and transferred us into the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. Act
, again, except this time it is God's action. God's work in the Colossians
and in us. And we should be thankful for it.
One of our associate pastors yesterday preached about the Commissioning of the 70. She told a story, at the end of her sermon, about a man who is retired. Once he retired, he took up woodworking, and he makes crosses out of scrap wood. He transforms scraps, which by definition have no real purpose, into crosses. I like that image. Don't we all feel like scraps sometimes? Useless for God? And yet he transforms us into Christians -- Children of God.
She gave each of us one of his crosses, pictured here. She told us to:Go and do
Go and serve
Go and love.
Go back and take a look at the words I used when I was discussing the Colossians
passage, but allow me to reorder them: Seek, Pray, Learn, Act, Teach
. On Wednesday, three other youth leaders, and I, plus five youth will be traveling to Greensboro to attend the Methodist quadrennial
youth event. This year the theme is SPLAT
. As we Go, I'll carry this cross with me. I'll try to report back on the blog what God is teaching us, for I fully expect to find Him there.
Do you know why? There's a song on a CD that a friend gave my husband and me a couple of weeks ago. The song is Didn't it Rain
by the Five Blind Boys of Alabama. It starts out with the spoken phrase, "I didn't come here looking for Jesus; I brought him along with me
." God will be at SPLAT
, because all of us are bringing him along with us.
It's gonna rain, rain, rain! SPLAT
.Images: No, the first one is not mine -- it's from the internet somewere, but now I've forgotten where. The second image is my cross from Suzanne.
Labels: Epistles, Logos, Youth