About 25 years into the Christian Era around 60 AD there was a Christian Hymn circulating around the Mediterranean among the churches (modern day Turkey). This Hymn which speaks of who Jesus is, is contained in Colossians 1: 15-20.
Rev. Leonard W. Andrie in his master’s thesis on THE CHRIST HYMN OF COLOSSIANS 1:15-20 writes: While Paul was not the founder of the Colossian community, he wrote as an Apostle in absentia to “legitimize” the symbolic universe which was being threatened by “deviants” or “heretics” who were questioning the sufficiency of Christ. Paul responded by developing a “cosmic vision of Christ” in Col. 1:15-20 not previously taught in his other letters.
Imagine that—60 AD the first time this vision of Christ being sung and taught across the ancient world—and today they share it with us
Endurance – inviting idea or negative notion? Something you can do or something you passively put up with? What does the Bible have to say about endurance? We have Bible verses like:
Romans 5:3-4 ESV:…that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope
1 Corinthians 10:13 ESV: ….God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure
Colossians 1:11 ESV: May you be strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy.
Maybe a better question is what part does God play and what part do we play in enduring. Let’s see if the Bible offers us any insights. Download Audio
The Jamie Munday Story: early in 2015 Jamie, Leah, Sam and Knox Munday are moving from Vancouver to Thailand where Jamie will be involved with community development under the auspices of Mennonite Brethren Missions. Today he tells us his story of God in his life. Traditionally, development workers have engaged the poor with a simple question: “What do you need?” At MB Mission, their approach begins with another question: “What do you have?” Within any poor community, there exists a wealth of assets (social, spiritual, cultural, physical, and intellectual) that may be untapped and under-appreciated. When the poor look beyond their needs and simply begin with what they have, their is potential for deep and lasting change.
In his devotional commentary on Colossians, Sam Storms asks: “So what did Paul pray for? What did he want most for those in Colossae? I wonder what they might have said to him had he asked them, ‘How can I pray for you?’ We’ll never know, but what we do know is that Paul asked, apparently repeatedly, that God would fill them ‘with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives.'”
Remember the now famous words of the bunny Thumper in the movie Bambi: If you can’t say something nice, don’t say nothin’ at all?” This moralism has morphed over time with the best of these make-overs by Mother Teresa: “People are often unreasonable and self-centered. Forgive them anyway. If you are kind, people may accuse you of ulterior motives. Be kind anyway. If you are honest, people may cheat you. Be honest anyway. If you find happiness, people may be jealous. Be happy anyway. The good you do today may be forgotten tomorrow. Do good anyway. Give the world the best you have and it may never be enough. Give your best anyway. For you see, in the end, it is between you and God. It was never between you and them anyway.” Paul, in Colossians, goes even one better. He blesses the good he sees in others that has resulted from the Gospel.
In N.T. Wright’s introduction to his commentary on Colossians, he affirms: “Colossians is not a miscellaneous collection of ‘helpful thoughts’. It is a particular letter written to a particular congregation at one point in its (very early) history. To believe, in fact, that Colossians is inspired Scripture is to believe that God intended to say just these things to this church – and in so doing to address, somehow, the church as a whole” – including us!
“Maybe the church as we have it provides the very conditions and proper company congenial for growing up in Christ, for becoming mature, for arriving at the measure of the stature of Christ. Maybe God knows what he is doing, giving us church, this church.”
(Eugene Peterson, Practice Resurrection, p.14)
60 years ago, William Barclay, in his commentary on Romans 12:1f, remarked, “Man may say, ‘I am going to church to worship God,’ but he should also be able to say, ‘I am going to the factory, the shop, the office, the school, the garage, the locomotive shed, the mine, the shipyard, the field, the byre, the garden, to worship God’… Real worship is the offering of everyday life to God.”
Matthew 11:28-30 The Message
“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”
Today Scott Anderson, CapChurch’s lead pastor, kicks off our fall 2014 life together by suggesting how we can be a community of the easy yoke rather than a church of burdensome yokes.
PRAYING THE RAGGED EDGES OF LIFE: Praying Your History With God. Psalm 136 is known in the Hebrew tradition as the “Great Psalm of Praise”. The psalm gives us a glimpse into congregational sung response to several concise proclamations of God’s wondrous works. in the midst of this sung worship you see that the Hebrew congregation were actually singing their history with God. Imagine that—singing your history with God—your experience of how God has made you [your Creator]; your experience of how God is freeing you from those things that suck life from you [God’s deliverance]; your experience of God giving you your inheritance i.e. the Holy Spirit [God as a gift giver]; and your experience of God calling you by name and giving you a new identity in Him [God setting his love on you]. All these experiences comprise your history with God. Pray it or sing it and you will find yourself praising God for his greatness and his goodness not just to you but to all his people.
Today Shelley MacDonald-Lin, one of Cap-Church’s finest, brings our Psalm series, Praying the Ragged Edges of Life to a close with Psalm 136.
North Shore Vancouver | Faithfully seeking God's shalom in every sphere of life with passion and compassion.