+ In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Opening (A Collect for Peace – Tuesday)
O God, the author of peace and lover of concord, to know you is eternal life and to serve you is perfect freedom: Defend us, your humble servants, in all assaults of our enemies; that we, surely trusting in your defense, may not fear the power of any adversaries, through the might of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Morning Reading – Colossians 1:15-29 (NLT)
Christ Is Supreme
Christ is the visible image of the invisible God.
He existed before anything was created and is supreme over all creation,
for through him God created everything in the heavenly realms and on earth.
He made the things we can see and the things we can’t see—such as thrones, kingdoms, rulers, and authorities in the unseen world. Everything was created through him and for him.
He existed before anything else, and he holds all creation together.
Christ is also the head of the church, which is his body.
He is the beginning, supreme over all who rise from the dead.
So he is first in everything.
For God in all his fullness was pleased to live in Christ,
and through him God reconciled everything to himself.
He made peace with everything in heaven and on earth by means of Christ’s blood on the cross.
This includes you who were once far away from God. You were his enemies, separated from him by your evil thoughts and actions. Yet now he has reconciled you to himself through the death of Christ in his physical body.
As a result, he has brought you into his own presence, and you are holy and blameless as you stand before him without a single fault.
But you must continue to believe this truth and stand firmly in it. Don’t drift away from the assurance you received when you heard the Good News. The Good News has been preached all over the world, and I, Paul, have been appointed as God’s servant to proclaim it.
Paul’s Work for the Church
I am glad when I suffer for you in my body, for I am participating in the sufferings of Christ that continue for his body, the church. God has given me the responsibility of serving his church by proclaiming his entire message to you. This message was kept secret for centuries and generations past, but now it has been revealed to God’s people. For God wanted them to know that the riches and glory of Christ are for you Gentiles, too. And this is the secret: Christ lives in you. This gives you assurance of sharing his glory.
So we tell others about Christ, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all the wisdom God has given us. We want to present them to God, perfect in their relationship to Christ. That’s why I work and struggle so hard, depending on Christ’s mighty power that works within me.
“Christ lives in you.”
God wanted them to know that the riches and glory of Christ are for you Gentiles, too.
And this is the secret: Christ lives in you. This gives you assurance of sharing his glory.
– Colossians 1:27 –
In today’s reading, Paul begins by declaring the supremacy of Christ (v 1:15) and concludes by proclaiming that Christ lives in us (v 1:27). Let’s take a moment to reflect on what that means for believers.
- The visible image of the invisible God lives in you
- The predecessor and first-born of creation lives in you.
- The originator and agent of creation lives in you.
- The object and sustainer of creation lives in you.
- The head of the church and first to be resurrected lives in you.
- The preeminent one and fullness of God lives in you.
- The reconciler of all things to Himself and maker of peace lives in you.
Paul says that God wants us to know that because Christ lives in us all the riches and glory of Christ are for us as well. Why? So that we can be assured of sharing in His glory and not drift away.
Don’t drift away from the assurance you received when you heard the Good News.
– Colossians 1:23 –
Questions for consideration:
- How does knowing that Christ lives in you affect how you live? Please explain.
- How does knowing that Christ is supreme over all creation affect how you live? Please explain.
- When you think of sharing in the riches and glory of Christ, what comes to mind? Please explain.
- Do you think of yourself as holy and blameless, without fault, because of Christ’s death on the cross? Please explain.
- How does knowing that Christ lives in you keep you from drifting away from God? Please explain.
Morning Prayer: For Grace to Seek God in Every Way (Benedict of Nursia)
Gracious and holy Father, please give me intellect to understand you, reason to discern you, diligence to seek you, wisdom to find you, a spirit to know you, a heart to meditate upon you, ears to hear you, eyes to see you, a tongue to proclaim you, a way of life pleasing to you, patience to wait for you, and perseverance to look for you. Grant me a perfect end, your holy presence, a blessed resurrection, and life everlasting. Amen.
“Driven to Our Knees” – Forever Be Sure
May the peace of the Lord Christ go with you, wherever He may send you. May He guide you through the wilderness, and protect you through the storm. May He bring you home rejoicing at the wonders He has shown you. May He bring you home rejoicing once again into our doors.
+ In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen