Paul drops a lot of names here of fellow servants of Christ. Such a great group of believers with the same mission. The common goal was to make Jesus known and to nurture and encourage other believers. How familiar does that sound?
It’s clear that Paul wants to keep in touch. He has identified for the Colossians who they can turn to for help since he’s in prison and unavailable. Seeing the network of believers listed makes me realize how thankful I am for them. Their faithfulness has made it possible for us to know about Jesus!
Praying is something we can do as often as possible and it’s free! It only costs us time, but what better way to spend time than with God? Right? Paul is encouraging the Colossians to pray for themselves and for his ministry.
It was interesting to me that Paul chose to share about being in chains as he closes this letter. Clearly, Paul’s message was not meant to be about himself or his own situation, but to proclaim Jesus and deal with issues facing the young church. Almost as if in passing, he lets them know of the situation keeping him from seeing them in person.
When we’re spending time with God, we’re generally focusing only on our own relationship with God. Here we’re given counsel on best practices for us in interacting with other relationships with have in our lives. Our households. The world would be a lot friendlier place if we took better care of our loved ones in these simple ways.
For fear of sounding a bit “old-fashioned,” I fondly remember the days when family dinner time was sacred time. Whether it was a fancy meal or just something quick, spending time with each other is what was important. We connected. We shared lives together. It was so much easier to be mutually submissive, loving, encouraging, etc.
How are we supposed to live as God’s chosen ones? We have to know and accept that people are watching us. Ask, “do I make a good representative of Christ?” An important message to cling to is — God chose YOU. And with that honor comes responsibility. Paul reminds us, “Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.”
Don’t let this “must” scare you off. Rather, be thankful for the advice you have been given. Chances are pretty good that you are already seeking to live a life that reflects these things. The Holy Spirit living inside us will certainly help when our human frailty fails. I know I’m certainly thankful for the Holy Spirit!
Did you have a sense of hope or dread as you read today’s passage? These words can bring a sense of peace or drive us crazy because we feel so limited. Look at the list of these we’re supposed to be careful of. Which of these behaviors sounds appealing? Be honest.
Paul says we’ve all done these things. “You used to do these things when your life was still part of this world.” What changed? How come we’re not “part of this world” any longer? We met Jesus. “For you died to this life, and your real life is hidden with Christ in God.”