Tuesday December 17, 2013
Our passage for today may sound a bit harsh and even out of sync. Whenever we read the Bible our eyes and hearts should always shift in two directions. First, we want to focus on what the passage meant to the original readers. Sometimes that is really easy to do. But there are passages that require a deeper understanding of ancient culture to really capture the original meaning. Second, we always want to allow the Word to speak into our lives today. From that perspective, we open our lives to hear what God is saying to the way we live in a contemporary world.
As we read Colossians three we can make some assumptions about the ancient culture and the needs of the church. Don’t you suspect there must have been some problems with personal behavior that needed to be corrected? Why else would Paul address the issues we read about in 3:5-11? From there we need to ask: do these same issues relate to our lives and to our world today? Ideally, we would love to be free from Paul’s listing of negative behavior. But, from a realistic perspective, we know that our lives and the experience of the world are touched by these painful activities.
Now, let’s think about Advent and Christmas for a moment. Do you remember the song Santa Claus Is Coming To Town? It was written in 1934 with the opening lines…”You better watch out, you better not cry, you better not pout, I’m telling you why!” Even though it makes us smile, it carries far too much truth. How many people do you know are working hard to be good on the outside but have not been really transformed on the inside?
And we all know it is not just about pleasing Santa! It is our deepest desire to fully adopt the image of Colossians 3:10 where we might “clothe yourselves with the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge according to the image of its creator.” The section closes with a wonderful affirmation; “Christ is all and in all!” That is our deepest desire.
We want to live for the sake of Christ and in a pattern that would honor his presence in our lives, not out of guilt or human effort that becomes deceptive, but because we are the people of God who live by the standards of God!
Today is a wonderful day to recognize that you are a part of the holy and dearly loved people of God. As a result, put on compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Not because Santa knows if you have been bad or good…but because God is good and we are his people.
Memory Verse Of The Week:
Colossians 3:12 NIV
“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.”
Missional Prayer Focus For Today:
Please pray for the ministry of our Little Blessings Preschool. Pray for our teachers, students, and parents as they grow and discover in a spirit of faith development!