Verse 4 of today's passage says: "for we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love that you have for all the saints," Obviously Paul had heard about the Colossians faith and love for each other from someone. I can't imagine word traveled as fast in those days as it does now, but it seems that those two attributes of that church were known and Paul prays for them.
My question is, what is St. Matthew's known for? How do people in the community view us? Do we know? Would anyone notice (Outside of our members) if we weren't here? I think the answer is a resounding YES! We do so very much to reach out to our neighbors that the community of St. Matthew's is known for her love of her neighbors. About a year ago I had the pleasure of meeting the new head Pastor at a local Lutheran church. When I introduced myself and told him who I was and that I was from St. Matthew's, he said - "Oh, you are the church that does so much in Outreach!" Now, please understand that I was attending a monthly LINK meeting where every church represented is involved in outreach. But, the reputation of St. Matthew's is such that apparently we are known for doing much more - at least more than most. How wonderful. I can't tell you how proud I was of us that day. And then we have all of the groups that meet in our church - the Scouts, the Anonymous groups of every variety, the preschool, the Latino congregation - all of whom benefit from use of our church. So many people would be affected if St. Matthew's didn't extend herself in the way we do.
I think we can ask ourselves the same questions about us as individuals - what do people say about us? Are our reputations based on Christian principles? Are we known for being kind, forgiving and loving to those we meet? Or do people think we are hypocritical? Who would miss us if we weren't here? What would be said about us? Are we known for our faithfulness to God? Are we known for our love of our families? Our Friends? What about our attitude toward strangers or even people we really just don't like?
Just something to think about as we go through our days ahead - are we who we profess to be? What do we need to do to be a better witness? How is it that we can be known among those we know as someone who does love God and love our neighbor?