LENT REFLECTION - DAY 21
Today, we continue with our reflections in Colossians, thanks to those who have sent encouraging responses. My sincere apologies if I confused you yesterday by labelling our Colossians passages as from Ephesians, whoops! Hope you worked it out. Unfortunately, I've learned to schedule these emails, but not unschedule them, so just had to let it go! Just a little reminder that it is easy to make mistakes! None of us get everything right. Imperfection is part of our human journey, and the Christian journey too. In our humanity we make mistakes, despite this Christ loves us and through his perfection justifies us, so we can be reconciled to God.
One of the things I like about the Apostle Paul is that he is a realist. In his pastoral letters we regularly read his reminders to the believers in the early church of the need to remember their humanity and be intentional, choosing to live the new resurrection life.
So if you're serious about living this new resurrection life with Christ, act like it. Pursue the things over which Christ presides.
Colossians 3: 1-2 The Message
The Christian life calls us to make choices, leading a new life in which we turn away from the things that deaden the soul like: sexual promiscuity, impurity, lust, doing what ever you feel like, exploding in anger, bad temper, irritability, meanness, profanity, lying to one another and dirty talk (see verses 5-11). Paul wants believers to be intentional and choose a life, shaped by God and not shaped by feelings and things. Using the analogy of clothes he reminds us we are chosen by God for this new life of love and given a new wardrobe to express ourselves to a broken world. I love these verses:
So, chosen by God for this new life of love, dress in the wardrobe God picked out for you: compassion, kindness, humility, quiet strength, discipline. Be even-tempered, content with second place, quick to forgive an offence. Forgive as quickly and completely as the Master forgave you. And regardless of what else you put on, wear love. It's your basic, all-purpose garment. Never be without it.
Colossians 3: 12-14 The Message
With a new day before us we have many choices to make. Some will be simple and routine about what to eat and what to wear. However, there will likely be moments when we are with people and we will have to choose (perhaps in an instant) how to respond - will we be even tempered or bad tempered, forgiving or unforgiving. My prayer for us today is that we will choose new life, the resurrection life. And when we fail, that we will not be too hard on ourselves, but quickly put whatever we can right, then focus forward again and get on with the Christ life.
Everything has been created through Christ and for Christ. (1: 15-20)
Christ is all I and others need to be saved, and to truly be a child of God. (2: 11-15)
Father God, realistically we will get some stuff wrong this week and no doubt we will need to ask You for some help in putting it right. Help us to be more aware of things that are deadening our souls and empower us through Christ's example and Your Holy Spirit to turn from them. Help us to focus forward and be those clothed with compassion, kindness, humility, quiet strength, and discipline. To be those who are even-tempered, content with second place, quick to forgive an offence and willing to express love to all. We cannot do this without You, so we humbly bring our imperfections and wrong choices to You and ask for help. Amen.