Colossians 2:1-5 (NRSV)
For I want you to know how much I am struggling for you, and for those in Laodicea, and for all who have not seen me face to face. I want their hearts to be encouraged and united in love, so that they may have all the riches of assured understanding and have the knowledge of God’s mystery, that is, Christ himself, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. I am saying this so that no one may deceive you with plausible arguments. For though I am absent in body, yet I am with you in spirit, and I rejoice to see your morale and the firmness of your faith in Christ.
By John Grimm
Watching cars and SUVs go by is fascinating. Each vehicle is heading hither or yon, maybe to an appointment or on a work assignment. The kids might be going to or coming back from ball practice. And as we race about, we’re all potentially in need of assistance, grateful to receive it when in need.
We who are part of the church on occasion might have someone offer us spiritual assistance, by way of prayer and other means. As we read about Paul’s compassion for the church in Colossae and in Laodicea, it is not an occasional gesture that he gives. As we know Christ Jesus is interceding for us right now, Paul is encouraging us, by his example, to struggle for other Christians. Why would we want to struggle in such ways?
We struggle for other Christians so their hearts may be encouraged, and they would be united in love. It is difficult to have the assured understanding and the knowledge of Christ himself when we feel disconnected from other Christians. It is the Holy Spirit who connects every disciple of Jesus Christ. This connection can be found in every local church, across international borders, and across denominational boundaries. We grow in wisdom and knowledge of Jesus Christ as we experience Christian connectedness.
It also is good to see the morale and the firmness of other Christians’ faith in Christ, as it refreshes our own faith in Christ! A single stalk of corn cannot produce a good yield by itself. It takes multiple rows of corn to pollinate each other for a good yield to be produced. That is how it is with Christians. As we struggle for the sake of other Christians, we all are encouraged.
Almighty God, thank you for the disciples of Jesus Christ on this planet. As sisters and brothers in Christ are perplexed, struggling, battered, and feeling abandoned, we lift them up to you. May each disciple and each church know Christ in full. We ask that you strengthen us all, so we know we grow firm in our faith. Amen.