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Lenten Devotions from Fourth Presbyterian Church

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Today’s Scripture Reading | Colossians 1:11–15, 19

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 heritance 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 the fullness of God was please to dwell.

The day after the birth of Christ, Christians are faced with the formidable question “now what?” In our house, the days between Christmas and New Year’s Day are some of the quietest and most peaceful days of the year. We rarely travel, because we treasure that quiet week at home, made possible by the fact that seemingly everyone except us is on vacation somewhere. In those quiet days spent lazing around the house, lighting fires, taking naps, watching movies—and suddenly free from the stressful and distracting demands of the holiday—it is easier for me to contemplate the significance and implications of the Christmas miracle and the gift of God’s love made flesh in Jesus.

The people of the church of Colossae, to whom Paul was writing, faced a similarly daunting question: “Christ has died; Christ has risen; now what?” The church was dealing with internal problems at the time believed to have been brought on by false teachings. In Colossians, Paul reminds me of a good basketball coach preaching the fundamentals to a struggling team. Paul’s letter is focused on the basics of Christian faith. He tells the Colossians that God has rescued them from the power of darkness and transferred them into the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom they have redemption and the forgiveness of sins. He urges them to endure everything with patience and joyfully give thanks.

Dear God, help us quiet the holiday noise, return to the “fundamentals” of our faith, and joyfully give thanks for the miracle of Christmas and God’s Word made flesh. Amen.

Written by John Shonkwiler, Member of Fourth Presbyterian Church

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