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 must also 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 our 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 Creator through him. Colossians 3: 12-17
Friends, it is truly good news that we are God’s chosen and beloved people. We are part of the Body of Christ. For that we praise God with joy and thanksgiving. We are a community of faith. We are people who believe in Christ Jesus as our Lord and Savior. We are an Easter people. We join together in Christ’s ministry not for our sake but for Christ’s sake focusing not on ourselves but for our neighbor.
Indeed, God has created us to be in relationship with each other. We do not move forward as individuals (although we do have a personal relationship with others and our God) but rather as a community of faith. In other words, we are not Lone Rangers. In community we find support and a sense of belonging. As a community we practice kindness and compassion. We hold hands with those who are ill, poor of spirit, or in any way in need. We remember that just as others reach out to us, we reach out to others.
Like it or not, as people of faith, as Christians, we have responsibilities and we are held accountable. And although we are surrounded by a society that favors individualism and independence, we continue to exhibit the values of caring for our neighbors and for creation that this faith community is called by God to model by our words and by our actions.
In Christ’s name we speak out against the prejudice and racism that are simply too prevalent in our culture. As God’s chosen and beloved people we continue to support and implement initiatives to help the poor and downtrodden. As you know, this is serious business in which we join with our neighbors: sharing in celebrations as well as joining together during difficult times. Each and every moment we remember Paul’s words: whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus.
And do so out of humility.
As an Easter people, let us continue to walk forward in faith and harmony, empowered by the Holy Spirit, sharing and receiving God’s grace and love.
Christ’s Peace, Pastor Steve