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Friday, July 29, 2022
Today’s Scripture Reading | Colossians 3:1–11
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 the things that are above, not on the 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.
Put to death, therefore, whatever in you is earthly: sexual immorality, 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, enslaved and free, but Christ is all and in all! (NRSV)
I find it increasingly difficult, to say the least, to rid myself of anger and rage about the recent events that foreshadow even more troubling times ahead for our country and world. And yet this passage by Paul reminds me that we must set our hearts, minds, and thoughts on “things above” to live a healthy spiritual life.
It’s not easy, to be sure. Yet Paul makes it clear that I—and we—must strive to live in a manner consistent with our Christ and Savior, who sits at the right hand of God.
What does that mean? For me, it means we mustn’t necessarily ignore earthly concerns. But they cannot drive and rule us. Rather, we must anchor ourselves on “things above” where our lives are “with Christ in God” as a citizen of heaven.
Our heavenly Father, as Paul instructs, let us always grasp that we must dissolve any prejudicial barriers of gender, race, nationality, social standing, education, or religion, because Christ “is all, and is in all.” And give us the strength to do our best to do just that. In the name of Jesus Christ, who sits at your right hand. Amen.
Written by Tim Schellhardt, Member of Fourth Presbyterian Church
Reflection and prayer © Fourth Presbyterian Church
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