Colossians 2:6-15 (NRSV)
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Verse 6As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, continue to live your lives in him, Verse 7rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving. Verse 8See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the universe, and not according to Christ. Verse 9For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily, Verse 10and you have come to fullness in him, who is the head of every ruler and authority. Verse 11In him also you were circumcised with a spiritual circumcision, by putting off the body of the flesh in the circumcision of Christ; Verse 12when you were buried with him in baptism, you were also raised with him through faith in the power of God, who raised him from the dead.
Verse 13And when you were dead in trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you alive together with him, when he forgave us all our trespasses, Verse 14erasing the record that stood against us with its legal demands. He set this aside, nailing it to the cross. Verse 15He disarmed the rulers and authorities and made a public example of them, triumphing over them in it.
While tidying up our lawn this spring, we decided to remove a small stump that remained from a tree that was cut down a few years ago. The remnant stood only a couple of inches above ground, so it seemed it would be simple enough to dig it out. The stump had other ideas! The roots were tenacious and deep, spreading in all directions. The project was much more demanding than we thought it would be.
Paul’s letter to the Colossians employs the imagery of the roots of our faith, begun in baptism and continued throughout our life with Jesus. Paul is writing to people who were faced with many alternative proposals as to what it meant to be a Christian, and he reminds them of their rootedness in the gospel.
As we are built up and established in the faith, our roots will hold against the various storms that threaten us. God has made us alive with Christ, and we abound in thanksgiving.
Father, strengthen us in the faith we have received through the life, death, and resurrection of your son, Jesus Christ. May we continue to walk with him each day in gratefulness through the power of your Holy Spirit. In Christ’s name. Amen.