Today’s Tasting: Colossians; Philemon
Colossians opens with Paul discussing his prayers for the people who live in Colossae, and his discussion of God freeing them from the power of darkness. Paul then discusses how important Jesus is. After this, Paul describes the work he is doing. Paul cautions the believers to be wary of people who try to lead them astray with false teaching. He also reminds them they do not have to follow human teachings and rules on festivals and dietary laws since God cancelled the need for these things with the death of Christ. He tells them that Christ is in all believers and that there is no difference between believers. None are better than others. Paul ends with instructions on how to live well with the others in their group, and news of the people with him.
The short letter from Paul that is preserved as the book of Philemon contains Paul’s pleading for forgiveness for his friend Onesimus.
At this time of year, as we prepare to celebrate the birth of Christ, Colossians contains a good reminder of the reason He came.
“God has freed us from the power of darkness, and he brought us into the kingdom of his dear Son. The Son paid for our sins, and in him we have forgiveness.” Colossians, 1:13-14, NCV
“God made peace through the blood of Christ’s death on the cross.” Colossians, 1:20, NCV
“When you were spiritually dead because of your sins and because you were not free from the power of your sinful self, God made you alive with Christ, and he forgave all our sins. He cancelled the debt, which listed all the rules we failed to follow. He took away that record with its rules and nailed it to the cross. God stripped the spiritual rulers and powers of their authority. With the cross, he won the victory and showed the world that they were powerless.” Colossians, 2:14-15, NCV
With all the reminders this time of year of Christ coming as a baby, it is important to also think about the reason God choose to do that, and how important that is for all of us, but also about how we should respond to the good news of Christ’s coming. Colossians also speaks to this.
“God has chosen you and made you his holy people. He loves you. So you should always clothe yourselves with mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Bear with each other, and forgive each other. If someone does wrong to you, forgive that person because the Lord forgave you. Even more than all this, clothe yourself in love. Love is what holds you together in perfect unity. Let the peace that Christ gives control your thinking, because you were all called together in one body to have peace. Always be thankful. Let the teaching of Christ live in you richly. Use all the wisdom to teach and instruct each other by singing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs with thankfulness in your hearts to God. Everything you do or say should be done to obey Jesus your Lord. And in all you do, give thanks to God the Father through Jesus.” Colossians, 3:12-17, NCV
Although we celebrate Christmas during this special time of year, and remember Christ rising from the dead at Easter, our behavior and thoughts should be changed all year by our knowledge of the gift that has been given to us. We should always be striving to live up to Paul’s advice in Colossians. Show by your gentleness, humility, mercy, patience, kindness, thankfulness and forgiveness that you are appreciative of the gift that was given to you with Christ’s coming. Allow his light to shine through your life.
Tomorrow’s Delight: Ephesians