Colossians 1:11-20 (NRSV)
Verse 11May you be made strong with all the strength that comes from his glorious power, and may you be prepared to endure everything with patience, while joyfully
Verse 12giving thanks to the Father, who has enabled you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the light. Verse 13He has rescued us from the power of darkness and transferred us into the kingdom of his beloved Son, Verse 14in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. Verse 15He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation; Verse 16for in him all things in heaven and on earth were created, things visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or powers-all things have been created through him and for him. Verse 17He himself is before all things, and in him all things hold together. Verse 18He is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that he might come to have first place in everything. Verse 19For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, Verse 20and through him God was pleased to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, by making peace through the blood of his cross.
My family will tell you that I am not patient. My five-year struggle with a brain tumor resulting in double vision has shown how little patience I have. How does one give thanks when you live daily with a disability? “Endure everything with patience” seemed impossible. However, this reading ends with the encouraging words that Christ has made “peace through the blood of the cross.” I am reminded of Romans 8:32 which similarly announces that God “did not withhold his own Son but gave him up for us all.” God in Jesus lived, hurt, cried, laughed, and died in this world. So, we are called to look to the cross of Jesus and make peace with our struggles. We look with thanksgiving at what God has already done. We are loved. We are forgiven. Can we rest in that hope beyond our own struggles in this life?
Lord God of Hope, it is so easy to look inward. Help us to find peace in our lives by looking to the cross of Jesus and rest in your love for us. In Jesus Christ our Hope we pray, Amen.