Praying and Blessing
Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and Timothy our brother,
To the saints and faithful brothers and sisters in Christ in Colossae: Grace to you and peace from God our Father.
In our prayers for you we always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, for we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love that you have for all the saints, because of the hope laid up for you in heaven. You have heard of this hope before in the word of the truth, the gospel that has come to you. Just as it is bearing fruit and growing in the whole world, so it has been bearing fruit among yourselves from the day you heard it and truly comprehended the grace of God. This you learned from Epaphras, our beloved fellow servant. He is a faithful minister of Christ on our behalf, and he has made known to us your love in the Spirit.
For this reason, since the day we heard it, we have not ceased praying for you and asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of God’s will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, as you bear fruit in every good work and as you grow in the knowledge of God. May you be made strong with all the strength that comes from his glorious power, so that you may have all endurance and patience, joyfully giving thanks to the Father, who has enabled you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the light. He has rescued us from the power of darkness and transferred us into the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. ~ Colossians 1:1-14
Years ago, I received a letter from someone I had met during one of my trips to Tanzania. It was a letter from one of the pastors there whom I had befriended.
And he began this letter with words of blessing that reminded me so much of the Apostle Paul.
Have you ever received a letter that began with blessing and prayers for your well-being?
Have you ever gotten a letter from someone that saying they were praying for you? And not just general prayers, but prayers for your well-being and wisdom and knowledge of God's love?
This week the readings have been focused on all the ways in which we learn God's ways through the law and through scripture.
God's word is written on our heart, and it is written in letters of hope and blessing.
All of that - God's law and word and prayers and blessing - are for the building of relationship.
The poet John Donne said that "No (one) is an island."
And God reaches out time and time again, through the Word and through God's people - to draw us off of our islands toward each other.
Holy One, move me toward you and your people, and teach me to be a blessing to them at all times. Amen