Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and Timothy our brother,
2 To the saints and faithful brothers in Christ at Colossae:
Grace to you and peace from God our Father.
3 We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, 4 since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love that you have for all the saints, 5 because of the hope laid up for you in heaven. Of this you have heard before in the word of the truth, the gospel, 6 which has come to you, as indeed in the whole world it is bearing fruit and growing—as it also does among you, since the day you heard it and understood the grace of God in truth, 7 just as you learned it from Epaphras our beloved fellow servant. He is a faithful minister of Christ on your behalf 8 and has made known to us your love in the Spirit.
Paul does not lord it over the Colossians by calling himself an apostle. He is just simply stating the mission of his life. An apostle is a sent one and Paul has been sent out to make the world a better place. He is to tell the world that the awaited saviour has come and that grace and peace can be known.
Writers of the time opened their letters with ‘greetings’ but Paul slightly modifies the Greek word to change it to grace. He also adds ‘peace’ to the mix, which is the usual Jewish greeting. What would follow in a normal letter of the age would be an appeal to the gods that they rain blessings on the recipient. Paul uses this convention but adapts it to the Christian faith by writing prayers that are tailored to his audience. He sincerely wants God’s grace, peace, hope, love and joy to flourish among God’s people in Colossae. These should be the markers of a Christian community.
Can it be said of us that we are sincere in wishing grace, peace, hope love and joy for others? Do we see ourselves, like Paul, as those who have been sent to intercede for others? Are we dedicated to making the world a better place by bringing God’s good news?
I want to have a concern like Paul for God’s people. I sincerely want my students, my church, and my family to know God’s grace and peace. These are turbulent times with many changes. I wish for us all to have a security and an assurance that comes from a relationship with an unchanging and eternal God.
Father, let us see ourselves as those who are sent. Let us see ourselves as vessels for your grace, peace, love, hope and joy. May we intercede for your churches in Syria and Sudan that are faithful in the face of much persecution. May we long for all people to know you. May your name be glorified. Amen.
- How does Paul title himself?
- What does he pray for the Colossians?
- What does Paul’s title mean?
- How are you like Paul and yet also different?
- What is your prayer for Christ’s church?