LENT REFLECTION - DAY 23
I always thank my God as I remember you in my prayers, because I hear about your love for all his holy people and your faith in the Lord Jesus. I pray that your partnership with us in the faith may be effective in deepening your understanding of every good thing we share for the sake of Christ. Your love has given me great joy and encouragement, because you, brother, have refreshed the hearts of the Lord's people.
Sunday at 1 am our clocks spring forward an hour, and a reset of GMT takes place. As a consequence the light will shift and our daylight hours will be extended as we work to British Summer Time. This shift happens twice a year for us in the UK with the clocks springing forward this Sunday, and falling back at the end of October. This custom was controversial at the time it was introduced but the reset gave farmers an extra hour to farm in the midst of 1st World War.
In Paul's final chapter of Colossians he mentions some of his fellow believers, all of whose lives have been reset by the Gospel. Several men are mentioned, some are Jews, another like Paul is captive imprisoned and the others co-workers for Christ. One of this men, Onesimus was being sent on a mission with co-worker Tychicus to his home town of Colossae. Although returning to one's home town is normally good, Onesimus' story told in the short letter named in the New Testament letter to Philemon explains he must of travelled with mixed emotions and some fear of being enslaved again. Whilst Onesimus' name meant useful, it turns out that before his life was reset by repenting and believing in Jesus he had been useless in his master Philemon's service and run away. Paul who knew of Philemon as a believer, writes making an appeal asking for mercy desiring a relational reset with Onesimus out of his love for Christ rather than under compulsion or Paul's authority in the Church.
This letter makes me wonder how many times Paul stood in the gap for new believers, making appeals offering to take on their debts so that their relationship with others could be transformed and restored. We of course have had someone do exactly that for us. Jesus, took our debts and paid the price for us on the cross that our lives we would be free from the powers of darkness and our relationship with God reset and reconciled, and our place in eternity secure.
I wonder who we are spending time with? For whom are we crying out to God or offering practical help too. For whom are we hoping and praying for a life changing Gospel reset. A shift that will bring freedom from darkness and enslavement, and new light.
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 we are grateful as Paul was in Colossians for the companions we share this life with. We thank-you for the reset of the Gospel that we have experienced along with others. We think of our unbelieving family and friends and pray that the Gospel would bring new light and liberty to them. We recognise that we all need friends like Paul who will stand in the gap and make an appeal for mercy and forgiveness for us. Please help us to be those who will stand in the gap in prayer but also life's practicalities. Lead us by Your Holy Spirit to recognise those moments where we can take our stand and see the breakthrough for others. Amen.