Season After Pentecost, 2019 Year C : The Epistle Passage – The standards that the Divine has set

So if you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth, for you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.”(Colossians 3:1 – 3)

I did wonder about these verses, beloved reader, and wanted to confirm their meaning – according to the understandings and interpretation of others. I will often look first at different translations, and if those are pretty much the same I can concluded that the words and phrasing are indicative of something important. And that is the case here; “for you have died” means that the old earthly way of life is gone and that the rule of law (meaning Jewish law) is not longer a determinant on our lives. Instead, our new life in Christ is hidden with Christ and is save . . . supposedly. That is dependent on our maintaining a faith and belief in Jesus Christ and the Lord God. It would not occur to Paul, evidently, that no one would stray from that.

“When Christ who is your life is revealed, then you also will be revealed with him in glory. Put to death, therefore, whatever in you is earthly: fornication, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed (which is idolatry). On account of these the wrath of God is coming on those who are disobedient.” (Verses 4 – 6)

You can see that Paul is actually outlining a pretty basic living a Godly life.

“These are the ways you also once followed, when you were living that life. But now you must get rid of all such things–anger, wrath, malice, slander, and abusive language from your mouth. Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have stripped off the old self with its practices and have clothed yourselves with the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge according to the image of its creator.” (Verses 7 – 10)

It seems at times we make too much of following specific faith tenets. Or we define with such precision what the impurities and evil desires are. I can think of so instances where people of faith have divided themselves on what is proper living. We (meaning followers of the Divine) take into our own hands the task of judging what these sinful traits are. At times, many times, we seem to be more strict than Paul! Now you might say that Paul did not have to adjudicate the actions of professed believers in modern society; that if Paul was here he would have much to say about what in our modern times is sin and what is not. But Paul did, actually have something to say about that.

“In that renewal there is no longer Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave and free; but Christ is all and in all!” (Verse 11)

Can it not be enough, beloved reader, to welcome those who profess a faith in the Divine, and to trust that the Divine will keep their faith life “hidden with Christ in God”? Selah!