A Servant of the Gospel
Col. 1:21 And you who were once estranged and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, 22 he has now reconciled in his fleshly body through death, so as to present you holy and blameless and irreproachable before him— 23 provided that you continue securely established and steadfast in the faith, without shifting from the hope promised by the gospel that you heard, which has been proclaimed to every creature under heaven. I, Paul, became a servant of this gospel.
The testimony of the Colossians lives is important to Paul. The action of Christ has made possible the reconciliation of the Colossians and their ability to live faithfully. That completed, the Colossians must be willful participants in living out their lives in steadfast faith. Their foundation is strong, but now they are also to endure to the very end, allowing no space for a shifting of their faith. Christian hope has given them new life and it is Christian hope which will sustain them. According to John Wesley this Christian hope, is “the glorious hope of perfect love.” (John Wesley’s notes) Paul had experienced this hope and the perfect love found in fellowship with the Triune God. Therefore Paul affirms that he is a servant of this gospel, for not only is it something that he believes and preaches, but it is a life which he has experienced. Paul is all in, and the message to the Colossians is that they are to be all in as well.
As we continue our Lenten journey we must recognize that it is about being “all in” for our Lord. We aren’t supposed to be engaged half-way in this Christian walk, nor is it something that we are to tackle sporadically throughout our lives. Instead, this is a life-time commitment, one which leads us into the “glorious hope of perfect love.”
While Paul may have been referring to his ministry as a servant of the gospel, I believe that we are all called into service of this gospel. We cannot fall in love with Jesus and yet fail to share him with the world around us. When people fall in love they want the world to know. They post status updates and changes on Facebook, and all kinds of pictures of the one that they love. Yet, we rarely see this happen in regard to our relationship with Jesus Christ. Why don’t we post pictures and share the overflow of our love for Jesus? Is it because our relationship with him has become so ordinary that we find nothing to say? Considering the percentage of the New Testament written by the Apostle Paul, I believe it’s safe to say that he had a hard time being quiet about it! He became a servant of the gospel because he was consumed by the good news of Jesus Christ who had transformed him.
May we be grounded upon the firm foundation found in Christ. As we press on in our Lenten journey may we persevere, disciplining ourselves to be faithful servants, empowered by the Holy Spirit. And finally, may we be so overcome by the holy love found in God that we are servants of the good news which springs forth from our lives.
Lord, Thank you for the Lenten journey and the lessons along the way. Amen.