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Friends in Christ Weekly Message
December 27, 2003

     So, chosen by God for this new life of love, dress in the wardrobe God picked out for you: compassion, kindness, humility, quiet strength, discipline. Be even-tempered, content with second place, quick to forgive an offense. Forgive as quickly and completely as the Master forgave you. And regardless of what else you put on, wear love. It's your basic, all-purpose garment. Never be without it.
     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. Instruct and direct one another using good common sense. And sing, sing your hearts out to God! Let every detail in your lives - words, actions, whatever - be done in the name of the Master, Jesus, thanking God the Father every step of the way.

Colossians 3:12-17 (Message*)

The apostle Paul here gives sage advice on how believers, gathered in a faith community, should act. While this counsel was sent to a particular group of believers, its wisdom is for all times and places.

Love is central. Our life as believers is "this new life of love." Our love for one another should lead us not to seek center stage, and to be quick to forgive our brothers and sisters in Christ. The virtues God has "picked out" for others are not showy, but the bedrock basics of compassion, kindness, humility, quiet strength and discipline.

We come into a life of faith with all sorts of bad traits and habits. What enables us to live in this new way? Actually, it's not so much what as who - Christ Jesus. It is "the peace of Christ," "the Word of Christ" and letting every detail of our lives be done in the name of Jesus. And our lives need to be filled with praise, singing our hearts out to God, and thankfulness "every step of the way."

We each need to examine ourselves in the light of this passage. Is Christ Jesus filling our lives - His peace, His Word, His presence? Does a spirit of praise and thankfulness suffuse our lives? Do we demonstrate the virtues of compassion, kindness, quiet strength and discipline in the way we live? Are we living "this new life of love"?

Bill Samuel

* The Message version ©2002 by Eugene H. Peterson.

©2003 Friends in Christ, Inc.

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Document last modified on Saturday, 03-Jan-2004 20:30:42 EST