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May 9 | Colossians 2:16-19


 

DAILY READING


 

REFLECTION


The Offering of Our Ordinary Selves

by Dan Kidd

I was recently with a group of friends discussing a book we'd read together, The Practice of the Presence of God, a collection of letters from Brother Lawrence. We marveled at how Lawrence was so peacefully content with the ordinary activities of his quiet, faithful life because he went about them as an offering to the Lord. We agreed that we can be tempted to seek after grandiose, heroic religious achievements. For some of us, an ordinary life, simply and quietly devoted to Christ, feels uncomfortably insufficient. You may have noticed that we live in an age and culture enchanted with comparison and competition. I suspect that many of us concern ourselves that our faith, our part of the body, our portion of the house, is inferior to others who we see doing what we wish we could or think we should.


In this letter to the Colossian church, Paul aims to dispel the troubling spirit of insignificance and burdens of religiosity weighing on this community, and to undermine the self-righteous braggarts who feigned humility and holiness. The performative, puffed-up spirituality of these judgmental fakers is nothing at all. Paul reminds the church that they are, together, one body, supported and grown by God, with Christ at the head. Any member of the body that overestimates their importance or seeks to disqualify their fellow Christians has figuratively lost their head.


Isn't it interesting that we are often compelled to find who deserves to be admired or appreciated the most? That sometimes we marvel at the members of our body who are front and center, and other times we look to identify those in the background as the "true heroes." The Christian life is not a competition. Whatever we do--whatever our gifts or our role--we needn't strive to be heroes, or to look for heroes among us, or to attempt to valuate ourselves relative to others. The hero of our faith is Christ, and he doesn't look for us to be anything more than we have been created to be.


We are each uniquely, intentionally, and wonderfully made. Because we are unified by Jesus, we can truly and certainly know that we have an irreplaceable, undeniable place and purpose in God's family. Let us not waste the gift of ourselves wishing we were like someone else, or causing others to wish they were someone else. Instead, it is right and good that we would be only who we were made to be, and to simply devote our ordinary lives--the simple routines of our days--as an offering to the God who supports and grows us.



PRAYER

Father, thank you for making us as you have; thank you for the gift of ourselves. Save us from the snares of comparison and competition, and lead us instead into the fullness of life in your Spirit, unified and cooperative as the body you have created us to be. Let us neither fear that we are disqualified from your family, nor cause that fear in others. Let the activities of today be our offering to you, and shepherd us to love one another as you have loved us.




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2 Comments


Maevarish
Maevarish
May 09, 2023

Oh how different our world would be if we each “lived into” this TRUTH. Thank you!

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chuckcoleman25
May 09, 2023

Exactly what I needed today. Thanks!

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