Pause

Faithfulness can seem impossible sometimes. There are so many things God hopes for us to do and not do. We wonder how we can possibly live up to the letter of the law.

But when we really dig down, the spirit of the law is not so difficult. God loves us and empowers us to love back to God and out to others. That’s it: love is the law.

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Listen

From Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by God’s will, and Timothy our brother.

To the holy and faithful brothers and sisters in Christ in Colossae.

Grace and peace to you from God our Father.

We always give thanks to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you. We’ve done this since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and your love for all God’s people. You have this faith and love because of the hope reserved for you in heaven. You previously heard about this hope through the true message, the good news, which has come to you.

Colossians 1:1-6a

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Think

Last December, my church’s members stood on our front steps with a banner reading, “We choose welcome!” It was a tense time in the world, when the refugee crisis was growing ever more dire and many national leaders were pressing to limit refugee resettlement.

The picture got passed around social media. And on Christmas Eve, two Muslim families joined us in the pews, singing Christmas hymns and hearing the Christmas story. Afterwards, each stopped to say thank you. They’d never attended a Christian service. They’d been curious but afraid they wouldn’t be welcome. Because of something as easy as painting poster board, our neighbors experienced the far-reaching miracle of Christ’s love.

Paul gives thanks for the church in Colossae because of their “love for all God’s people.” It’s easier to love the ones who look or act like us, but God’s hopes are bigger than that. God isn’t stingy with love, and when we are living out the faith reserved for us in heaven, we are generous with our love too.

Shelli Latham

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Pray

All-loving God, when it is easier to ignore someone or stick with the people who remind me of myself, help me to live up to the faith you have placed in me and in your church. Help me to show your love to all. Amen.

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Go

It’s not so much what we have in this life that matters. It’s what we do with what we have. The alphabet is fine, but it’s what we do with it that matters most. Making words like “friend” and “love.” That’s what really matters.

Mr. Rogers

Today, may you do something that matters, trusting that you’re wrapped in the arms of our gracious God, whose number one rule is “Love!”

Shelli Latham

Shelli Latham is the pastor at Druid Hills Presbyterian Church, in Atlanta, Georgia. She believes the church is a place youth should be seen AND heard, loves Bible stories about feisty women doing gutsy things, celebrates any excuse to fly a kite in worship, and prefers her yellow cupcakes without icing.

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