“In this new life, it doesn’t matter if you are a Jew or a Gentile, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbaric, uncivilized, slave, or free. Christ is all that matters, and he lives in all of us. Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you.” (Col.3:11-13)


Dear Jesus, I’m not sure I would have done very well at a “Thanksgiving Day meal” in Colossae (not that they had one!); or even a weekly worship gathering in this cosmopolitan, trade-route city. Paul describes a diversity that fits my theology, but challenges my comfort zone and heart capacity.

Jews and Gentiles… okay, I get that. But sharing the same worship space—and perhaps table with the “barbaric and uncivilized,” slaves and those who “offend” me—believers and unbelievers alike? Jesus, you welcome those I remain suspicious of, don’t want to vacation with, might not want to be among after dark.

What does wisdom look like? How do we parent and grandparent as our backyards are looking more like Rome and Colossae? What does “faith expressing itself in love” require of me and my friends?

Jesus, may we never forget, that we too—as Paul wrote to Titus, were “once foolish and disobedient… misled and enslaved to many lusts and pleasures. Our lives were full of evil and envy, and we hated each other.  But—when you, Jesus, our God our Savior revealed your kindness and love, you saved us, not because of the righteous things we had done, but because of your mercy. You washed away our sins, giving us a new birth and new life through the Holy Spirit.” (a personalization of Titus 3:3-7). Thank you Jesus… thank you. Grant us wisdom and bigger hearts. So Very Amen.