Wednesday, June 6, 2018
Colossians 2:1-3: For I want you to know how great a struggle I have for you and for those at Laodicea and for all who have not seen me face to face, that their hearts may be encouraged, being knit together in love, to reach all the riches of full assurance of understanding and the knowledge of God's mystery, which is Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.
What does it mean to be encouraged? "Encourage" is about raising our courage level. Being encouraged is like being lifted up out of struggles and placed in either a safer place or a place of greater strength and fortitude. Being encouraged is someone else working with you and I in order to lift us up from a sad or mad space which discourages us and lead us to a place of peace.
If you noticed, encourage is used in the passive sense. We normally do not encourage ourselves. It takes the "struggle," as St. Paul puts it, of someone else to lift us up and encourages us. We either won't, or can't, lift ourselves out of the situation we are in. We NEED someone else. And what St. Paul is saying is, the churches at his time needed to hear and see Paul in order to lift them up. Up to what level? Paul's task, or calling, was, and is, to lift people to be in the wisdom and knowledge of God that is in Jesus Christ.
Everything that God is, is focused in Jesus for us. God's wisdom, knowledge, grace, mercy, and love, is all in God Jesus, the second person of the Trinity. And Paul is lifting us up to see that, to experience God, and to receive His wisdom, knowledge, grace, mercy, and love. We are being lifted up through God's Word, as written by St. Paul and others, to receive all God has to give. God gives forgiveness to sinners. That's us by the way. God gives mercy to the lost and condemned because of sin. That's us, too. God gives grace by granting us pardon from sin and new life. We need that also. God loves us so much that He poured out to us all of the above in Jesus Christ. God incarnate came to us and encourages us. Lift me up, God. Move me to see You through Your servants like St. Paul to Your knowledge and wisdom that is Jesus and what He did for me, amen.
Pastor Robert Hemsath joined Faith Lutheran Church and School as the Senior Pastor in January 2017. Pastor Hemsath comes to FLC from Christ the King Lutheran Church in Waxahachie, TX. He has also served congregations in Aberdeen, ID and Pocatello, ID. He has been a Lutheran pastor for the past 20 years.