The first two chapters of Paul’s letter to the Colossians reminded them of the glory and supremacy of the Lord Jesus Christ and encouraged them to “continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith…, overflowing with thankfulness.”
And now, in chapter 3, Paul spells out for them some of the implications of how they are to do that: they are to “set their minds on things above, not on earthly things” – and specifically, that means “putting to death” some of the ways in which they used to live, before they came to faith in Christ. He gives them two areas of life – sexual conduct and social contact – where things can most readily go wrong, and challenges them instead to commit themselves to a life filled with love, displaying the qualities of “compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience”, quick to forgive, living in peace with one another.
Can we imagine what our world would be like if we all lived in that way? On the one hand, no more pornography or prostitution; on the other, no more angry disputes, family quarrels, broken marriages or acts of revenge.
Our readings this week reflect on what a life lived by God’s people in God’s way might be like.