Scripture: Colossians 1:11-20
He has rescued us from the power of darkness and transferred us into the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. Colossians 1:13-14 (NRSVUE)
Paul begins his letter by addressing the readers as “saints and faithful brothers and sisters.” He goes on to thank God for the life and witness of the Colossians and continues to wish them God’s blessings.
The blessings Paul names may be a bit surprising. Many people today understand blessing so materialistically that only the rich are viewed as blessed by God. Preachers who promise prosperity have adoring fans and some of the largest followings.
Strength and power are promised in this letter, but not strength and power to get anything we want. It is the strength to endure everything that comes to us as we bear our cross and follow Christ. The way of the cross is filled with pain and suffering. But God gives us the special strength and power to endure and overcome.
In the midst of it all, we joyfully give thanks to God because we have been transferred into the reign of Christ. That reign enables us to rejoice over Christ’s redemption and forgiveness of sin. To live under the reign of Christ is to accept cheerfully and thankfully moments of agony and moments of ecstasy.
A thankful heart lifts us up into the skies so that our suffering moments look tiny. The same thankful heart takes us down to the depths of the sea to enjoy the beauty of God’s grace that sustains us from underneath. What a rich blessing God has for us as we journey through our life! Thanks be to God!
Loving Lord, you have given us everything. We ask you for one thing: a thankful heart. Amen.
By M. Thomas Thangaraj, Upper Room Disciplines 2022, p. 378.