The Fifth Sunday After Pentecost, July 14, 2019

Epistle Colossians 1:1-14

Paul commends the Colossians for their love for all the saints, the “saints in light,” because their love for one another is not separated from the love of the Father given through Christ Jesus.  It flows from it.  His love, the love that qualifies them into the kingdom, creates faith, and that faith works love.  Paul has never met them but he teaches them, he reminds them, because it comes from the Word of God.  Paul has never met you but the Word of God comes to you this day the same way.  The redemption won by Christ has delivered all of us so that “filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, 10 so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord” (Col 1:9–10).  What does that look like?  He says it’s about bearing fruit, the fruit of the Holy Spirit, and increasing in the knowledge of God.  

You have heard the Gospel.  It has come to you.  You have believed it.  You are redeemed.  You are baptized.  You eat your Lord’s flesh and drink his blood.  Often.  It is for your forgiveness.  It is to strengthen your love.  Not only is there life in the body and blood of Jesus unto forgiveness; there is strength unto love of our neighbour.  You are “saints in light” in Sarnia.

Nevertheless, our love is not what it seems or what it ought to be.  We need to be patient with one another, bearing one another’s burdens.  Our love needs bolstering, improvement.  It receives strengthening from the faith given.  The Christian life is not easy, there are false teachers that want to lead us astray just like the Colossians were tempted.  Faith can falter, love can grow cold, priorities can change, God gets whatever is leftover.  But still he gives and gives abundantly through the gifts of his church. 

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