This morning I read Colossians 3 verses 1-17. It is far from the first time that I have read these lines in the New Testament. But lately they have really been present on my mind. I haven’t even tried to meditate on them, but it is like they just keep coming up. They are kind of forcing themselves on me. So today I took some time and read and reread in multiple biblical translations this small section.
I think on community often and thoroughly. I am of the belief that we are not really doing it correctly in the American Christian church. Well for the most part, because there are definitely people I know striving for intentional community that reflects the nature of God. Most of those people are my closest friends and family.
So building community and relationships are the most important things to me here on Earth. I think it is something we take for granted, I believe it is one of the greatest and important commands God has given. A command that goes without saying. I believe that the practice of genuine and intentional community gives action to the two greatest commands: Loving God and Loving our neighbor as ourselves.
So I am going to put Colossians 3:1-17 here. I suggest you read through it and then I will attempt to break it down, but my bet is this is going to take more than one blog. I may have to start a blog series. Lets see how this goes. By the way I got this passage below from biblegateway.com in case anyone is wondering.
Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. 3 For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ, who is your[a] life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.
5 Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. 6 Because of these, the wrath of God is coming.[b] 7 You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived. 8 But now you must also rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. 9 Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices 10 and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator. 11 Here there is no Gentile or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all.
12 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.
15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. 16 Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. 17 And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
Okay for this post I will work only with verses 1-3. This is going to be a series so I am excited to try something new on my blog. Yay!
Paul starts out fairly strong here. In the first lines he basically tells the Colossians to stop wasting their time and energy looking at things of the earth. One of my pastors about two weeks ago talked a bit about these first three verses. He basically said we, as believers, need to make the choice to wake up EVERY SINGLE morning and set our mind on things above. I have been trying to practice this and it is far from easy. But like I enjoy saying, the good things are not usually the easy things.
Paul goes on to say that we are already dead to this world. Our life is in Christ now. He has our life hidden away with him in God. That’s kind of sick. So how does this relate to community? Thank you for asking.
Isnt it obvious? We are all dead. When we enter into community with other Christians to form the Body of Christ we do not enter into relation with something earthly. We enter into relation with another who is experiencing the fullness of life. Someone who is alive in Christ.
Stop setting your eyes on the failures and brokenness of those you are in relation with. Set your eyes on things above. Set your eyes on Christ. Those you share deep christian community with are raised with Christ. Treat them as such and view them as such.
And stop acting like you are not a new creation. We will go deeper into this in a later blog. But these are points that you do not want to miss. Before we can dive deeper into Paul’s direction on how to live in community and with each other and as believers. We have to start here.
Make sure your eyes are set on things above. Make room for Grace dear friends. Set your eyes steady on the overwhelming beauty in the sky, the marvelous heavenly realms of peace, hope, faith and love. Think on these truths.
Until next time.