Pastor John's Daily Briefing - 4/22/2020

Pastor John's Daily Briefing - 4/22/2020

Greetings to all in the name of Christ,


May we begin in prayer: Almighty God, to whom all hearts are open, all desires known, and from whom no secrets are hid: cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit, that we may perfectly love you and worthily magnify your holy name, through Jesus Christ our Lord. AMEN.


In faith, in prayer we are united with God and one another in all aspects of our living. We become intimately attached to God's eternal love revealed in and through Christ Jesus. Therefore, the Apostle Paul counsels in Colossians 3:1-4: "So, if you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth, for you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life is revealed, then you will be revealed with him in glory."


For Paul, his usage of above is less spatial and more mindful. He is not advocating an escape from one physical location to another. Rather, he is promoting a way of life, in thought and deed, that is drawn profoundly to the mind of Christ. He is exhorting the faithful to put away practices that are displayed in lifestyles contrary to the manner in which Jesus himself lived. For in Christ, we become a "new self, which is being renewed to the image of its creator" (Colossians 3:10).


In and through Christ, we are finally able to part from our dissensions, our disagreements, our deceptions, and enter into a new way of life, baptized into God's promise and glory, where there is but Christ in all. Paul continues, "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... 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" (Colossians 3:12-17).


Scattered and physically apart we may be with our stay-at-home measures, but in the mind of Christ we remain one body, drawn eternally together by the grace and mercy of God our Father.


Let us pray: Merciful God, our Father, in the stillness of our souls we listen for your voice to know again that you are God. Quiet our restless hearts with the knowledge that you stand with us even within the shadows, keeping watch over us. rekindle our faith and light the lamp of hope within our hearts as you lead us this day and always. AMEN.


Go in peace and serve the Lord!  Pastor John.