Sometimes, I read the Bible and have difficulty relating it to living in the 21st century. That is not the case with today’s reading. These verses are as relevant today as they were in the 1st century. In addition, the themes of today’s reading are repeated throughout the New Testament. And as we learned in Bible 101, if something is repeated, it is meant to be extra important, right?
Chapter 3 of Colossians could be entitled “Rules for Christians to Live By”. It gives us a good list of ways we should behave and ways we should not behave. It says that the way we once lived is no longer acceptable. That person has died. The new “you” has been reborn in Christ and you, therefore, need to behave differently.
Verse 11 really hit me in this Chapter. It says “Here there is no Greek or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all.” The Town of Colossians lay pretty far east from Israel. It was located along a fairly well-traveled east-west transportation route and was, therefore, occupied (either temporarily or permanently) with folks from all walks of life and all religions. It was particularly difficult to get a new church up and running with so many outside influences. But, this is not so different for us. We, too, are constantly bombarded with outside influences whether they be people we work with or neighbors, the newspapers we read or TV. Verse 11, for us, could read “Here there is no Muslim, African-American, Chinese or Hispanic…” or “Here there is no one who is overweight, overly sensitive, talks too much, gossips or complains…” Whatever makes you hot under the collar, or agitated or upset could fit into this sentence. Just fill in the blanks.
Then, Verse 15 gives you the ultimate instruction: Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts…and be thankful. What more could you hope for in life than the peace of Christ? Colossians 3 gives you a road map for allowing that peace into your life. All you need to do is read it with an open heart, then live it.