Future Worship at the East.
The letter begins by giving thanks for the faith, love and hope that characterize the church at Colossae. Paul delights in the fruit that they are bearing already I in their Christian life, and prays for the resources they need to continue growing as kingdom people.
In a lyrical text, Paul invites reflection on the glory of Jesus, revealed in creation, known in the church, reconciling everything to God. He writes of his dedication to a life of preaching this good news and helping people to be reconciled to God in Christ.
Paul reminds the Colossians that they belong to Christ in baptism and through his sacrifice on the cross. Therefore, they need to live in the power of his forgiveness and not be led astray onto other paths that claim to bring salvation.
As Christians, our lives belong to Christ in God, hidden until he is revealed in glory. Therefore, we must turn from lifestyles that are alien to Christ and live as people clothed in ‘ new creation’, where the old distinctions based on race or faith are forgotten.
Luke 12.32-40 ‘
Do not be afraid,’ Jesus tells his disciples. God offers the chance of building credit in heaven rather than having to depend on vulnerable purses. And, incredibly, he is a master who is ready to serve his own slaves – it is worth staying awake for his arrival
Two images of judgement – fire and water – lead into an exploration of how faith can divide families, and a challenge to the crowds to recognise the implications of Jesus’ ministry as clearly as they recognize changing weather.
Jesus is teaching in the synagogue on the sabbath. He heals a woman who is bent double. The synagogue leader criticizes Jesus for healing on the sabbath. But Jesus reminds his opponents that they care for their animals on the sabbath. Surely the woman matters more than an animal!
While eating a meal with a leader of the Pharisees, Jesus notices guests who choose the places of honour. He tells a parable in which the host of a wedding banquet embarrasses some guests by asking them to move so that the places of honour can be given to those more deserving.
Paul sends Onesimus, a runaway slave, back to his former master with an appeal that he is forgiven, freed, and welcomed into the family as a ‘beloved brother’.
Jesus tells two parables that explore themes of loss: one about a shepherd going in search of his lost sheep, the other about a woman who cleans her house until she finds a lost coin.