Today’ Reading: Colossians 1
Daily we receive reports from everyone that we encounter. We receive morning reports at work. We receive updates and memorandums from co-workers. We receive traffic reports on the road. We receive and give daily reports to our spouses. Our kids report their school or camp activities. Reports are an essential part of our life and one way to understand our surroundings.
I can recall many reports that had been given on my account from growing up. I was raised in a small community in Dallas, TX. In this community everybody knew everybody else and their entire family. All of the children of the community of approximately 200 families went to the same elementary school. The school was in the center of the neighborhood, which was approximately a mile from the farthest house in the neighborhood. On one particular day in the third grade, I had to go to a friend’s house afterschool that was about half a mile away, which was off a busy street. As with most third grade boys, I had to test the boundaries and play too close to the edge of the curb. I didn’t notice the cars that were too close to my friends and me. I continued to finish my journey proceed to my friends house. As I walked inside the house I was greeted with some consequences to my previous actions. Unbeknownst to me (this is the era of pre-cellular communication), one of the cars that past by me, made a U-turn and went to my friend’s house and informed the parents of my behavior and that I was acting in an unsafe manner. Even though it has been almost 30 years, since this incident, I have not forgotten the impact of my actions and I know that there is always someone reporting on our behalf.
This brings us to Colossians, and the introduction that we receive in this first chapter. This is amazing book, this is a church that Paul has never visited, and he has only been given a report by Epaphras. Wow, this is epistle of the apostle Paul that is part of our canon the Bible and it is a reflection of how important the REPORT of our interactions have profound affects on, not only our lives, but to those that are impacted. Can we image the impact of the report that would be given on our account? How would Epaphras report our dealings with each other? How would the report be on our households? Our worships and hardships? Our comings and goings? Then how would the report be received and responded to? Paul writes a beautiful introduction here to the church as though he had established the church and stayed in Colossae for years. When I read the first verses I am overcome with a sense of connection and reverence:
Colossian 1:3-6, 9-12
We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, 4 because we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love you have for all God’s people— 5 the faith and love that spring from the hope stored up for you in heaven and about which you have already heard in the true message of the gospel 6 that has come to you. In the same way, the gospel is bearing fruit and growing throughout the whole world—just as it has been doing among you since the day you heard it and truly understood God’s grace.
9 For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you. We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives,[e] 10 so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, 11 being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, 12 and giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you[f] to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light.
Being on the receiving side of this letter, I can only image the connection and communion the Colossians experienced. It is letter from someone that has never met you, but has so much love and affection for you. It is almost like receiving a letter from a distant relative that has the affection of a supportive parent. I pray that we are able to present ourselves in a manner that the REPORT of our lives is pleasing the our Heavenly Father.