A friend of mine was worried about his grandmother because she was living alone in their old family house in Mississippi. He called her and told her of his concern. She was in her favorite chair on the porch and chided him, saying, “Don’t worry; I’m not alone. It’s just me and ol’ JC out here rockin’.” For this woman, being “raised with Christ” wasn’t some abstraction or vague liturgical phrase. It was a real and lived experience. Jesus was with her on the porch, her mind was set on things of Christ, and this gave her comfort. It was enough.

The beginning of this third chapter of Colossians uses the imagery from the three-storied universe cosmology: Heaven is above, Earth is in the middle, and Hell or Sheol is below. Today we know this isn’t how the universe is constructed, but we can understand this image as a way of describing what is still true of God: God is invisible to us and non-material.

Jesus often talked about the kingdom of God being close by, drawing the attention of the disciples to a non-material reality that is always with us, even as it is unseen. This is the realm of the eternal, of the resurrected Christ. Our spiritual life trains our awareness such that we become grounded in that world rather than the material, ephemeral reality in which our physical body resides.

When my friend’s grandmother said that JC was on the porch with her, she didn’t mean that a material body was present but rather that she was attuned to the non-material presence of the Divine. From that vantage point, God is always enough.

God of eternity, help us to see you everywhere. Help us to know that we are never alone because you are always with us. Amen.

Pray the Scriptures Using Audio Lectio
Read Luke 12:13-21

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Lectionary Week
July 25–31, 2022
Scripture Overview

Hosea relates a further message from God. Israel has repeatedly ignored God’s teachings, even though God continues to reach out with love and kindness. A just response would be wrath, but God will respond with mercy to restore the people. The psalmist echoes this teaching about God’s enduring love. Although some have gone through periods of distress, when they call out to God, the Lord responds with steadfast love. We then explore guidance for the life of a Christian. In Colossians we read that we should focus on heavenly realities, not the physical world. Rather than pursuing our own pleasure, we should put on a new self and behave more like God desires. The parable that Jesus tells reinforces this point. We should focus on storing up heavenly treasures, not earthly ones.

Questions and Suggestions for Reflection

Read Hosea 11:1-11. How have you suffered the consequences of turning away from God? How has God welcomed you back?
Read Psalm 107:1-9, 43. What stories of God’s goodness does your family tell to the next generations?
Read Colossians 3:1-11. How has Christ renewed you? How do you see Christ in others?
Read Luke 12:13-21. How has greed shown up in your life? How do you combat greed in all its forms to live out of a mentality of abundance?

Respond by posting a prayer.

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