Scripture: Colossians 3:9-11 (NIV)
Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator. Here there is no Gentile or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all.
Thought for the Day: The author of this letter, who was likely a student or associate of Paul—perhaps even Epaphras, the founder of the church in Colossae, was urging the Colossians to remain true to Jesus’ teachings with the entirety of their being, body and soul. At the time, the early church was being challenged by other schools of early Christian thought, which were teaching ascetic self-abasement, the worship of angels, and inhumane treatment of other human beings.
As it was then, today it is still difficult to live a life that is true to Jesus’ principles of compassion, social justice, liberation, and egalitarian love—even for our perceived enemies. But if we are to live as new beings in Christ, with renewed knowledge of our intimate relationship with God, we must be disciplined in thought and action. As Tony and I were driving to Orlando last Friday for a regional gathering, I saw a sign that said, “If you love your enemies, soon you won’t have any.” Through the archetype of the Christ, God has shown us that we are all equally loved and equally welcomed in the kingdom of God, a kingdom that is alive and at work, here and now, a kingdom in which the love of Christ is in all, no matter what we call ourselves.
Prayer: May you help me live an authentic life, inspired and guided by you, Holy God. May you open my heart, so that no matter the label we choose to give ourselves, we ultimately realize that you, most compassionate and loving Lord God, teach us all to love and respect each other’s differences. Amen.