Rev. Drew Stockstill
Overflow With Hope
Monday, April 27, 2020
In the name of the Father, and of the ☩ Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Morning Psalm – Psalm 1
Friends, this week in our Scripture reflections, we will be dwelling in the New Testament book of Colossians. I welcome you to share your own thoughts, questions, wisdom on these daily devotions. And please share any prayer requests you would like included in our daily prayer so we can join you in lifting to God that which is on your heart.
The book of Colossians is actually a letter addressed from, “Paul, an apostle of Christ” and “Timothy our brother,” to a church in a city called Colossae. Like many of the letters in the New Testament, Colossians provides both encouragement and instruction. In times of uncertainty, and when the church today is having to rethink and reform for a new age, it is a blessing to hear words of encouragement and instruction from the earliest days of the church. We are connected to these brothers and sisters and the Holy Spirit has made sure their words and experiences were carried on to us that they might continue to shape and reshape the body of Christ, rooting us in the unchanging grace of God and his Word in a world that is constantly changing.
Read here the beginning of the letter and notice what tried and true themes of the Christian faith are lifted.
1 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and Timothy our brother,
2 To the saints and faithful brothers and sisters in Christ in Colossae:
Grace to you and peace from God our Father.
3 In our prayers for you we always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, 4 for we have heard of your FAITH in Christ Jesus and of the LOVE that you have for all the saints, 5 because of the HOPE laid up for you in heaven.
You have heard of this hope before in the word of the truth, the gospel 6 that has come to you. Just as it is bearing fruit and growing in the whole world, so it has been bearing fruit among yourselves from the day you heard it and truly comprehended the GRACE of God. 7 This you learned from Epaphras, our beloved fellow servant. He is a faithful minister of Christ on your behalf, 8 and he has made known to us your love in the Spirit.
9 For this reason, since the day we heard it, we have not ceased praying for you and asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of God’s will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, 10 so that you may lead lives worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, as you bear fruit in every good work and as you grow in the knowledge of God. 11 May you be made strong with all the strength that comes from his glorious power, and may you be prepared to endure everything with patience, while joyfully 12 giving thanks to the Father, who has enabled you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the light. 13 He has rescued us from the power of darkness and transferred us into the kingdom of his beloved Son, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.
Here is our foundation, still stable, still faithful after all these years: God has rescued us from darkness and drawn us into his kingdom through Jesus; Jesus who has redeemed us and forgives our sins. This is grace; therefore, God has enabled us to share in the glory of the saints, and has empowered us with what we need to live and even flourish in these days. The flourishing, the Apostle calls, bearing fruit.
Beloved, we must know that in these days, even with so much having changed about our practices, and while we must, “be prepared to endure everything with patience, while joyfully giving thanks to God,” what is unchanged is the power of God’s grace. While we wait to celebrate the Lord’s Supper, we do not wait for the grace we know the holy meal represents. While we wait to be in each other’s presence, we do not wait for the assurance that the Holy Spirit is already binding us together so that we feel each other’s company, even in isolation. While we wait to hear the voices of the congregation lifted in song, our souls do not wait to rise to God in praise. Right now, you have what it takes to bear fruit, to thrive and to continue to, “grow in the knowledge of God.” The Apostle reminds us we have FAITH in Jesus Christ, LOVE for each other and those who have gone before us, and HOPE in the care and salvation that comes from God. May that which we are required to wait for, only strengthen our assurance of all that we have, and “May you be made strong with all the strength that comes from God’s glorious power.”
Let us Pray:
Satisfy us with your love in the morning,
and we will live this day in joy and praise.
We praise you, God our creator, for your handiwork in shaping and sustaining your wondrous creation.
Especially we thank you for
the ministry of all the baptized . . .
those who provide for public safety and well-being . . . those with whom we work or share common concerns . . . opportunities to share good news with others . . .
the treasure stored in every human life. . .
People of God, for what else do we give thanks? Add your own prayers of thanksgiving.
We dare to pray for others, God our Savior,
claiming your love in Jesus Christ for the whole world, committing ourselves to care for others in his name.
Especially we pray for
the church in Asia and the Middle East . . .
those who seek to save the earth from destruction . . . those who work for the benefit of others . . .
those who cannot work today . . .
all who proclaim your saving love. . .
And for the family of Ed Sherrick, Mary, Sharon Herrold, Duana, Brenda and Cliff, Bob, Rochelle, Karen and Steve, Barb and Butch, Sharron Blezard, Marcia, John and Susan, Rose, Phil and Alice, Stanley Hope, Jake, John, Julie, the nurses of our Medical Outreach Clinic and…
People of God, for what else do we pray? Add your own prayers.
As you cause the sun to rise, O God,
bring the light of Christ to dawn in our souls and dispel the shadows of hatred and fear.
Give us grace to reflect Christ’s glory; and let his love show in our deeds, his peace shine in our words,
and his healing in our touch,
that all may give him praise, now and forever. Amen.
God the Father, ☩ Son, and Holy Spirit watch over us. Amen.