“If then you were raised with Christ, seek what is above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Think of what is above, not of what is on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, your life appears, then you too will appear with him in glory.” Colossians 3:1-4What does this passage mean to you? When you envision Paul, imprisoned, writing to the newly developed Christian community in Colossea, a community he has never met what does it make you think? I happened upon this passage and was actually thinking of the priest that filled in at our church last week. I couldn’t help but think that maybe this would be a helpful passage for him to ruminate on. There is such a strong inclination to think of “the devil” and how to make “the devil” angry that I can’t help but wonder about people who think that faith is about God versus “the devil”. I find it quite uninspiring and very tiresome.Faith, as I see it, is as Paul says above. We look to Christ. We look to live as Christ lived. We do not put so much energy into earthly worry but we let that energy manifest itself into spiritual work. If, for example, as this priest suggested we are crossing ourselves in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit only “to make the devil angry” but not to embrace ourselves within the love and wisdom of the Trinity, who does that serve? Are we not, if we are thinking of ticking of the devil, unable to then focus on God? I want to “think of what is above and not of what is on earth”. I want my action on earth to be motivated from a higher plane. I want to not be brought down but to be raised up! This doesn’t mean that I am unwilling to live in this world, by no means, I am not doing anything to “get into heaven” but I am doing things to live in a deeper relationship in the here and now. I find this other stuff, the rules, the scare tactics, the intolerance, a distraction from what I want my goal to be. That is to say, if my goal is to be a reflection of God’s love, of God’s mercy or God’s gentleness then to seek to “irritate the devil” will not help me attain it. However, following the wisdom of Jesus, being in communion with my fellow brothers and sisters, showing forgiveness, seeking and giving healing will. Ultimately, if any of us truly desire to be a reflection of God’s love and grace we need to be willing to focus only on God’s love and grace.So today, I pray for the people who feel like they are embattled. I pray that my own heart will always see the red flag when it is straying of course. I pray that, despite what this world shows us we can believe that God is truly in control.
Wife, mother, blogger. Director of Faith Formation at an upstate inner city Catholic parish. Have facilitated adult faith groups. I love to garden even when it goes wrong. Same with writing...and we know it can go wrong. But here is where my love of God and love of writing intersect.