Colossians 3:1-11 (NRSV)
Chapter 3So if you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Verse 2Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth, Verse 3for you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. Verse 4When Christ who is your life is revealed, then you also will be revealed with him in glory.
Verse 5Put to death, therefore, whatever in you is earthly: fornication, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed (which is idolatry). Verse 6On account of these the wrath of God is coming on those who are disobedient. Verse 7These are the ways you also once followed, when you were living that life.
Verse 8But now you must get rid of all such things-anger, wrath, malice, slander, and abusive language from your mouth. Verse 9Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have stripped off the old self with its practices Verse 10and have clothed yourselves with the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge according to the image of its creator. Verse 11In that renewal there is no longer Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave and free; but Christ is all and in all!
Whether written by the Apostle Paul or one of his disciples, the writer to the Colossians calls them to put their faith in Christ to work in this world. He is not only refocusing them from money, as the preacher and the psalm-singer did in our Old Testament readings this week, but on other earthly desires that lead them and us off God’s path.
The writer says, “get rid of all such things—anger, wrath, malice, slander, and abusive language.” It is as if the writer is here now, calling us to be aware of how the loudest voices in social media and politics can turn us aside from the reality of what our siblings in Christ truly need—love, forgiveness, food, water, and shelter.
Colossians speaks to us today, reminding us that, in our baptism in Christ, and in the Eucharist, our earthly desires are put to death, and Christ’s forgiveness frees us to orient ourselves to him.
Jesus, Sovereign of our lives, remind us daily of our new selves, so that we may live in your image, and serve all your children. Amen.