Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Receiving the Inheritance

As God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience. Bear with one another and, if anyone has a complaint against another, forgive each other; just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in the one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly; teach and admonish one another in all wisdom; and with gratitude in your hearts sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. Wives, be subject to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord. Husbands, love your wives and never treat them harshly. Children, obey your parents in everything, for this is your acceptable duty in the Lord. Fathers, do not provoke your children, or they may lose heart. Slaves, obey your earthly masters in everything, not only while being watched and in order to please them, but wholeheartedly, fearing the Lord. Whatever your task, put yourselves into it, as done for the Lord and not for your masters, since you know that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward; you serve the Lord Christ. For the wrongdoer will be paid back for whatever wrong has been done, and there is no partiality. Colossians 3:12-25

My mother has an extraordinary life of faith. She is constantly praying and many come to her for prayer when they have special needs and intentions. You can't really call her pious, in the traditional sense, buy she is a holy woman - a woman of tremendous faith. This morning she came to me with a verse of scripture that "God had put on her heart." Colossians 3:24 "since you know that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward; you serve the Lord Christ." She has been praying for me since our lives have recently been unsettled and changed so precipitously. She's my Mom and she worries. She was bursting to tell me this passage, this sign and this promise from God. When I ask her about the obedience part of this passage, she told me I had been and am obedient, and what mattered was that I was serving God. Sometimes our families can strain us to the max, and the very next day, they can bring us strong prophetic insight and healing words for the ages.

Paul, writing to the Colossians gives them strong and clear advise, all of which should be obvious to all and is so often lacking in church communities. We can be competitive and gossipy, cliquish and hard headed. We can invoke rules that push people away, including our children. The writer reminds us, in this season of Easter that faith is both inward and outward, both spirit and action. Loving God demands we love and forgive others, live without passing judgment and be agents of love, forgiveness and thankfulness.

Today I ask God to help us receive and give love from all we encounter today - especially those we are most closely committed and related to. Often in families and communities we are hardest on our families and neighbors because we know their faults. God forgives them and loves them, and so can we. May we all have faith to live our inheritance which is love, renewed and remade every morning.

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