“Let the peace of Christ keep you in tune with each other, in step with each other. None of this going off and doing your own thing. And cultivate thankfulness. Let the Word of Christ—the Message—have the run of the house. Give it plenty of room in your lives.”
|To whom do you belong? What is your relational map? We might want to start with our family relationships and then move outward. In my case, I’m a son, a brother, a husband, and a father. Moving further out, I could say that I’m a friend, a pastor, and a colleague. Sometimes our relational maps become broken, which frequently appears to be the case in the New Testament churches (unlike today?). Since Paul hadn’t visited this congregation before, he wanted them to know where he stood on matters of belonging.|
We hear this word at a time of great brokenness in many of our own communities. This may even include our families. The other day, my clergy group chatting on Zoom, talked about the difficulty in facilitating productive and civil conversations in politically fragmented communities. The question of the day was how to get a group of people who identify as blue or red to sit down together and find pathways to understanding?
2020—Impeachment, Pandemic, masks or not, the upcoming Election–revealing how broken our nation is. As important as these issues are for our nation, I’m even more concerned about the way we relate to one another. We find it more and more difficult to hear one another. This is true in the Christian community, where we seem to be forgetting who we belong to. So, I wonder, when we look at our relational circles, are they open or are they closed?
Why would Paul be so concerned about who these people of Colossae felt they “belonged” to?? Maybe they taught differently from each other? (which might have created arguments over theology, or rituals, or “traditions”) Maybe some of these other teachers didn’t like Paul? (hence, interfering with his position as Apostle?) Or was it because they were losing the “big picture”? This turmoil is at the center of this Sunday’s “Leading Cause of Life”… Coherence.”
When we know in our bones what we are here to be and do, we have coherence. Knowing where we belong and finding meaning in our lives gives us purpose that holds up even (and especially) in the storms of life. Jesus said he had “come to set the prisoners free.” Bottom line. So if the “prisoner” in front of him was someone he wasn’t “supposed to” associate with in the social norms of his day, it didn’t matter because setting this person free was the bottom line. To have a life-leaning bottom line invites adaptability and choice, it doesn’t restrict it. Where do we find our meaning and purpose?
So, join us for worship,
Re-gathered under the oaks or virtually through the internet!
Grace and Peace,
Rev. T. Glenn Bosley-Mitchell