Key Text

Colossians 1:9-14

From the moment we heard them, these reports have been inspiring us to pray for you all the time. We are praying that you will be given a full picture of what God wants, and that you will grow wise and perceptive — aware of what the Spirit is doing. Then you will get to know God better and better, and it will be reflected in you lives — giving credit to Christ — as you bear fruit in compassionate action for the benefit of others. We are also praying that your strength will be built up as you draw on God’s awesome resources, and that you will have the mental and emotional toughness to survive anything; not just to survive, in fact, but to keep on celebrating the good things you have received from God. You have much to be thankful for because, like a proud father, God has left a generous inheritance to the children of the light, and you’ve been written in for a share of it. We became children of the light when God broke the grip of the darkness that had overwhelmed us and placed us instead in the loving hands of Christ. All that we have ever done wrong has been forgiven and we have been put back where we belong, in the realm of God’s beloved Son.

cited from Laughing Bird

 

Image of the week

February 14, 2005

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For last week's image (7 February, 2005), click here.

 

Present Context

For Reflection

In Western culture, there exists a growth fetish which stirs an unending restlessness towards personal and perpetual improvement. There are self-help books and courses at almost every turn, each based on the premise that we can be more than we are.

When Paul tells the Colossians that he is praying for their growth in wisdom, is he giving ancient expression to this contemporary predilection? How does this tally with Paul's comment to the Philippians "I have learned to be content with whatever I have"?

With ever-rising expectations, we are doomed for frustration, not because we do not achieve more and become more capable, but because we never seem to reach a point of satisfaction. As someone once observed: the philosophy of the cancer cell is 'growth for its own sake.'

Perhaps we need to stop and celebrate what has been achieved, and be thankful.

We pray:
God who has given us much more than we can dream or imagine, we thank you for your generosity towards us. Forgive us for not appreciating and enjoying these gifts for what we are, instead hungering and thirsting for more.

Teach us what it is to grow in your grace, to be shaped according to your purposes, and not merely echo the values of our surrounding culture.

Through Jesus Christ we pray.

Amen.