Last week we considered whether the writer of Colossians was reproving the church at Colossus or whether he was exhorting and encouraging them. While I do not present myself as an expert on such things, my sense was that it was a church that was new and still testing out how to live. The writer of Colossians seems to be setting out basics of faith, or at least what we who have been will soaked in the faith consider basics.
So if you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth, for you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life is revealed, then you also will be revealed with him in glory.” (Colossians 3: 1 – 4)
However even those of us who have weathered much need to be reminded of how to live for, and according to Christ.
“Put to death, therefore, whatever in you is earthly: fornication, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed (which is idolatry). On account of these the wrath of God is coming on those who are disobedient. These are the ways you also once followed, when you were living that life. But now you must get rid of all such things—anger, wrath, malice, slander, and abusive language from your mouth. Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have stripped off the old self with its practices and have clothed yourselves with the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge according to the image of its creator. In that renewal there is no longer Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave and free; but Christ is all and in all! (Verses 5 – 11)
Core basics of how to treat each other, live with each other, and interact with each other. The writer of Colossians may have told the believers that this is how they should treat each other. But I tell you beloved reader it should also be the way you treat those who are not a part of your faith circle. I have been “hammering home” lately the dichotomy between the events of the past few weeks and living as called people of God. And it would be tempting to call it a “sign of our times.” But the truth is that humanity has lived in opposition to itself for all the generations of recorded history, and most likely before that.
So, I want to step down from that “soapbox” and simply move forward. There is portions of scripture ahead and they deserve to be seen and pondered upon for what they have to say. But I will not hesitate to speak out again as the situation and the scripture passages merit. Thank for listening/reading me beloved reader. Shalom!