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Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Today’s Reading | Colossians 1:1–23

Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and Timothy our brother,

To the saints and faithful brothers and sisters in Christ in Colossae:

Grace to you and peace from God our Father.

In our prayers for you we always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, for we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love that you have for all the saints, because of the hope laid up for you in heaven. You have heard of this hope before in the word of the truth, the gospel that has come to you. Just as it is bearing fruit and growing in the whole world, so it has been bearing fruit among yourselves from the day you heard it and truly comprehended the grace of God. This you learned from Epaphras, our beloved fellow-servant. He is a faithful minister of Christ on your behalf, and he has made known to us your love in the Spirit.

For this reason, since the day we heard it, we have not ceased praying for you and asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of God’s will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so that you may lead lives worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, as you bear fruit in every good work and as you grow in the knowledge of God. May you be made strong with all the strength that comes from his glorious power, and may you be prepared to endure everything with patience, while joyfully giving thanks to the Father, who has enabled you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the light. 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.

He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation; for in him all things in heaven and on earth were created, things visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or powers—all things have been created through him and for him. He himself is before all things, and in him all things hold together. He is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that he might come to have first place in everything. For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him God was pleased to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, by making peace through the blood of his cross.

And you who were once estranged and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, he has now reconciled in his fleshly body through death, so as to present you holy and blameless and irreproachable before him—provided that you continue securely established and steadfast in the faith, without shifting from the hope promised by the gospel that you heard, which has been proclaimed to every creature under heaven. I, Paul, became a servant of this gospel. (NRSV)

This letter to the Colossians is one of Paul’s letters, and it is filled with hope and filled with the love of God and Christ. Hope can often be hard to come by in our lives. Our world is a place where it can seem that only the more successful and powerful have hope. But, as Paul reminds us, we have hope and love through God.

Hope does not always look like what we might imagine. Sometimes hope is unexpected. Sometimes hope comes from the most unexpected places. Sometimes we have hope and we might not even be aware of it. It is easy to say we have hope but not really believe in it, and it is easy to tell others to have hope when it appears to them that there is no reason to hope at all.

Paul also reminds us that there are others out there, praying for us! We are never in this alone, even when we feel we are. And sometimes we are the ones doing the praying for others and offering hope.

Throughout your day today, look for hope in all places. Trust in God’s hope. And find ways in which you can be hope for someone else.

Lord, we give thanks to you, the creator of all, and parent to Jesus Christ. Our hope comes from you. Allow that hope, and our love for you and one another, to grow and blossom like the flowers in the springtime. Let us show that love to the whole world. Fill us with your will, with wisdom and spiritual understanding. Allow us to live lives that are worthy of you, God. And strengthen us so that we might have patience and give you thanks. You have rescued us from darkness through the light of Jesus Christ, and through Jesus, you have set us free. For this, we are truly thankful. Help us to share all of these things with the world. Amen.

Written by Shelley Donaldson, Senior High Youth Coordinator

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