Thursday 26 August 2021

Bible Book:

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. (vs. 14-15)

Colossians 3:1-17 Thursday 26 August 2021

Psalm 53


Franz Kafka is a 20th-century novelist and writer from Prague whose work is considered of major literary significance. His stories often feature protagonists facing highly confusing and surreal situations amid a bureaucratic society or government. The term 'Kafkaesque', coined from his work, is used to describe situations where there are (real or imagined) complicated bureaucratic tasks to overcome. Although I would never compare church meetings to the dark and absurd tales of Kafka’s characters, I have been in many meetings where there is a seemingly endless list of business to get through and it can sometimes feel like there are hundreds of hurdles to get over. Although many of the things that feel tedious and complicated are very important, and allow us to continue living out our calling in a safe and accountable way, it is so easy in the middle of a lengthy agenda to lose sight of what our calling actually is.

In this letter to the people of Colossae, Paul helps to explain to them what their calling is as followers of Christ. I sometimes find reading Paul quite challenging, as he can be quite reprimanding and seems to dole out a list of do's and don’ts, but I find this passage quite beautiful (it’s sometimes used at weddings) and surprisingly positive. Without wishing to trivialise the passage, for me the message is simple: love each other as Jesus loves you. Paul then helpfully adds in some characteristics and practices (compassion, kindness, patience, etc) to help the Colossians. It is worth noting that Paul calls the people of Colossae to love everyone, emphasising that, in their divided society, we are all one in Christ.

I think it is important that we ground ourselves in these principles of love, humility and kindness in all the ways we are called to live out our calling. When church meetings feel long and tiring, let us be reminded that this is all rooted in our love of Christ and the calling to show our love to others. And it is important that we don’t let any Kafkaesque situations stop us from living out that calling – I’ve seen so many opportunities for evangelism, faith-sharing and transformation missed because people are overwhelmed by the 'what-ifs' and challenges. Paul encourages the Colossians to, “Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts.” (verse 16)

The challenge for the Colossians and for us is to be brave enough and radical enough to do that in the divided and challenging context in which we live, all while being thankful to God for the opportunity to share Jesus’ grace and love with others.

To Ponder:

  • Have there been times you have felt overwhelmed or challenged when responding to God’s calling? How can you be rooted in prayer and Scripture when this happens?
  • Where do you see opportunities to be brave and radical to help share the gospel news?


I pray that, in times of challenge and confusion, we can continue to be focused on the calling Jesus gives us and undertake this calling with kindness, love and compassion.

Previous Page Wednesday 25 August 2021
Next Page Friday 27 August 2021