Colossians 3:1-11

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. 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. 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. 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! Colossians 3:1-11

Notice how this passage begins. The first phrase “if you have been raised with Christ” is passive.  “Being raised with Christ” is something that happens to us. But then comes the verb, “seek.” To “seek” is an active verb. It requires action on our part. It is followed by several other calls to action.

Set your minds on things that are above…

Put to death, therefore, whatever in you is earthly…

But now you must get rid of all such things…

Do not lie to one another…

Today is Monday. I trust that I’m not alone when I say that I usually wake up on Monday with a fairly long list of what I hope to do this week. Included in that list are things that I know I need to accomplish at work and things that I know I need to be doing for myself. And, judging by past experience, some of those things will happen and some will go undone.

What I am noticing this morning is how the passive precedes the active in this text from Colossians. I think this is a pretty good snapshot of the Christian faith. Before we get busy on our “doing”, God has already “done” something in us. That changes everything. All of our busyness isn’t about chasing God down, it is about responding to what God has already done in us.

Because Jesus has raised us from the dead, we can be productive at work. Work that matters because of the difference it makes in the lives of others.

Because Jesus has raised us from the dead, we can trust in God’s love and become loving to ourselves in our diet, exercise, rest, and relationship lives.

Because Jesus has raised us from the dead we can actively seek to minimize and eliminate behaviors that are self defeating and detrimental to our lives and the lives of others.

We just have to remember that we can’t live Thursday on Monday. We can’t even live Monday at noon when it is Monday at 7:14 AM. That means we can’t do it all at once. Live comes to us one moment at a time. Realize then, in each moment, that God has already done something in us, which frees us to do what only we can do.

Let us pray: Dear Lord, we come to the beginning of this week praying that you keep us mindful of the continuous work of your Spirit in our lives. May we pay attention to how we speak, how we act, how we use our time. Help us be responsive, responsive, mindful, one moment at a time. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

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