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Monday, September 23, 2013

Today’s Reading | Colossians 3:12–17

As God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience. Bear with one another and, if anyone has a complaint against another, forgive each other; just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in the one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly; teach and admonish one another in all wisdom; and with gratitude in your hearts sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs to God. 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. (NRSV)


Compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, patience. These are gifts that allow us to live with each other and ourselves in peace. All much more easily aspired to than lived out. Especially if, like me, you like to think of yourself as smart and witty or as someone who gets things done.

More important than thinking of myself in this way, however, is being at peace with my fellow travelers in the world and, from there, with myself. And so, to the extent that I can, I practice being patient and I practice being kind. And I pray for these gifts too, as well as for the gifts of compassion and of humility, because I cannot achieve them only on my own. And I give thanks because nothing in this world quite opens me up to letting the word of Christ dwell in me richly as being grateful for the goodness of God.

And maybe someday, with enough prayer, I’ll desire meekness too.


Lord Jesus Christ, these simple gifts seem too calm for my blood sometimes. I cling fiercely to all the ways I see myself as special and unique. But I know myself to be most truly myself when clothed in your peace, and for this I am grateful. You know most what I need to live in that peace; help me desire and live into those gifts. Amen.

Written by Anne Ellis, Program Manager for Congregational Life

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