He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation; for 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. He himself is before all things, and in him all things hold together. He 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. For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and 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. And you who were once estranged and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, he has now reconciled in his fleshly body through death, so as to present you holy and blameless and irreproachable before him— provided that you continue securely established and steadfast in the faith, without shifting from the hope promised by the gospel that you heard, which has been proclaimed to every creature under heaven. I, Paul, became a servant of this gospel. I am now rejoicing in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I am completing what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the church. I became its servant according to God’s commission that was given to me for you, to make the word of God fully known, the mystery that has been hidden throughout the ages and generations but has now been revealed to his saints. To them God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. It is he whom we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone in all wisdom, so that we may present everyone mature in Christ.
Food For Thought:
The line that stands out to me is: “And you who were once estranged and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, he has now reconciled in his fleshly body through death.” This line reminds us that as Christians our behavior and our words should be different from non-Christians. We are called to act differently than the world around us. We are called to love our neighbor and to seek justice for those who are unable to stand up for themselves. To reach out to the lost, the lonely, and the hurting. To turn the other cheek. To go the extra mile. These are hard things that we are called to do but each day we should strive to be a better person. What one thing could you lay aside this day that prevents you from being the person that God has called you to be?
as we pour out the wealth you have entrusted to us,
the parched places are watered;
as we cease our evil talk,
the rising light of peace dawns in the darkness.
So lead us into faithful living
that your promises may unfold in us
as a woman’s back, long bent, unfolds at Christ’s command,
to the praise of your holy name. Amen.
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