Today’s reading: Col 3
There is a well-known country music song that exhorts us to “live like you are dying”. The meaning, of course, is to implore us to appreciate that which we have around us. The moments big and small with family and friends that are the joys of life. We should stop worrying and appreciate the people we have and the time we have with them.
Its sound advice but Paul takes it one step further. He doesn’t say to live “like” you are dying. He says,
For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. Colossians 3:3
For Paul, this is not a call to change your mental outlook on things, rather, this is an admonition for you to understand the radical change that is your new reality. Considering this new reality our ones of “holiness, compassion, kindness, lowliness, meekness, and patience.” Paul says that
And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. Colossians 3:17
This is consistent with Paul’s teaching elsewhere when he says, “I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me” (Galatians 2:20) and “For we are God’s co-workers…” (1 Corinthians 3:9). It is hard for the modern mind to appreciate the depth of what Paul is saying. These are not metaphors. We should not just try to act this way. Paul says we should “put to death” that which is in us that is not Christ-like. To Paul, the oneness with Jesus Christ is a change to our very nature. We should not just strive to be a little nicer or a little kinder or a little more holy. We must commit to banishing all remnant of our former corrupt selves so that the good new creation that we are can be our true new selves.
Tomorrow: Col 4