In my church office I have a large whiteboard where I record calendar items, scripture passages, facility needs, and anything else that requires my attention. Often I tell those who enter my office and ask me about the board that it gives a hint of what our congregation is currently doing or dreaming about.
When things are going well, the board can serve as a source of celebration: We realize accomplishments, dreams becoming realities, errands finished. But the board can also become a source of frustration, a record of things that are not accomplished, ongoing initiatives, and seemingly endless ministry.
The whiteboard of the Colossians seems to be filled with edge-to-edge success. The gospel has been bearing fruit among them since they first heard it. In these verses the author moves into a time of intercession for the congregation. He desires that they be filled with the knowledge of God’s will, spiritual wisdom, understanding, and strength. They share in the inheritance of the saints and have been rescued from the power of darkness.
Sometimes in our spiritual lives we feel alone. We see no end in sight to the whiteboard demands. Are we heading the right way? Are these the matters to which God calls us?
Today’s scripture reminds us that even when we do not know it, people lift us up. People pray, intercede, and celebrate. Sometimes those who receive ministry walk away praising God. At other times our witness inspires those on the sideline; in short, people know and notice even when we don’t realize it.
We, with the Colossians, acknowledge our transfer “into the kingdom of [God’s] beloved Son” where we receive redemption and forgiveness of sins.
Dear God, when we feel discouraged, help us remember that we are held in prayer. Move us to pray for others, for their witness, for their ministry, and for their inspiration. Thank you for those who let us know and pray for us. Amen.
I join many of those who will pray for you as you seek to discern what you are called to be at this moment. May God grant you the courage to fulfill that calling. May we all open our eyes and see the misery, open our ears and hear the cries of God’s people, and, like God through the Lord Jesus Christ, be incarnate amongst them.”
View a growing list of resources for the spiritual work of overcoming racism.