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Colossians 3:12-17 -- worship as a way of life
Colossians is itself a letter of praise to Christ. It begins with the supremacy of the cosmic Christ, in whom “all things (ie. all creation) hold together”, who is also head of the church. Sometimes, people talk of the church as though it is an optional extra (“I worship God in my own way… we should be people of Christ, not the church”). Colossians will have no one of that. Christ who is Lord of all, gives his body to the church.
In Methodism people say that they do not always, or even often, find worship that inspires and lifts them into an encounter with God in awe & wonder. So, perhaps Colossians is a good place for contemporary Methodists to find a way of finding this sense of praise & wonder, and integrating worship with the whole of our lives. Have you any examples of how worship has led to action, or a change in people’s attitudes?
Col 3:12-17 is about worship, but it is also about our spiritual worship to God in how we live with and treat each other: “clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, meekness & patience” (12:12). In the end, the only characteristic which will enable this is love “Which binds everything together in perfect harmony” . And we can only love in this way because of Christ. If the love of Christ dwells richly in us, our whole life together, not just our worship times, will be inspirational. That is the vision of Colossians, and without it everything else we do will be, in Paul’s words, a clanging empty cymbal.
Andrew Wood 27.05.12