Paul prays for more fruit and growth among the Colossians. Specifically, Paul prays that the Colossians will be filled with the knowledge of God’s will, grounded in spiritual wisdom and understanding. The effect of that knowledge will be to “lead lives worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, as you bear fruit in every good work.”

This is knowledge that doesn’t stay in our heads. It flows into our hearts and hands and feet, enabling us to live in a way that pleases God. In Paul’s prayer of thankfulness in Colossians 1:3-6, we see that God’s fruit includes “love in the Spirit,” closely connected to God’s priorities of justice and righteousness that are expressed in the prophets and the psalms.

Leading lives worthy of the Lord and bearing fruit result in increasing knowledge of God, which in turn leads to fruitful lives. We can pray for this pattern of knowledge/fruit/knowledge for ourselves and for those we love.

If we want to praise God sincerely as Paul does, our best strategy is to act faithfully on what we already know of God. As we know God and act in ways that reflect God’s character, we will know more of God. We will increasingly draw on God’s power and patience, and we will be able to thank God joyously and sincerely for all that God has done for us in Jesus Christ.

God of love, justice, and righteousness, we need your help to act on what we already know about you. Through your Holy Spirit, help us bear good fruit so that our knowledge of you can grow and our lives produce more of the fruit you desire for us. Without you, we can do nothing. With you, we can be co-creators of peace on earth. Amen.


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Lectionary Week
July 4–10, 2022
Scripture Overview

Amos is a farmer called by God to deliver a message to Jeroboam, the king of Israel (the northern kingdom in the divided monarchy). Because the king has not listened to the warnings from God, judgment will come. The psalmist also warns of judgment, in this case for those who oppress the weak and needy and fail to protect them from the wicked. Such heartless people will surely be brought low by God. The opening to the letter to the Colossians is a prayer of thanksgiving for their faith in Christ and the spiritual fruit they are producing in the world. The parable in the Gospel reading challenges our human tendency to ignore need. Jesus teaches that mercy should overcome any reason we might find to harden our hearts.

Questions and Suggestions for Reflection

Read Amos 7:7-17. Look for God’s plumb line in the world. In what ways is the ground you stand on askew?
Read Psalm 82. If you sit on the council of the Most High, how does this change your perspective on the world?
Read Colossians 1:1-14. Prayers of mere words are just the beginning of prayer. To what prayerful actions do your prayerful words call you?
Read Luke 10:25-37. The author writes, “Even those trying to be faithful walk askew.” Consider how you live out Jesus’ call to love your neighbor.

Respond by posting a prayer.