Faith, love and hope – 4 September 2020
By Xanthe Hancox
Prayer of Thanksgiving
The city of Colossae was not a particularly important one in the first century Roman Empire. But although Paul himself did not preach the gospel in Colossae or plant the church there, he was just as concerned for the church there as for the ones in large cities such as Ephesus or Corinth.
The body of his letter to the Colossians begins with his thanksgiving to God for their faith and love (Colossians 1:3-4). Paul makes it clear that the Colossians’ faith and love is not something they’ve produced themselves. The Christians in Colossae had no more possibility of generating it for themselves than we do.
Its source is out of this world.
Hope is the foundation of faith and love, the source from which they spring and are sustained by the Spirit’s power (Colossians 1:5a). As we’ve discovered over the past few weeks, our hope is not a wish for something that may or may not happen, but the present expectation of what will surely be experienced in its fullness in the future.
Knowing that we will experience the fullness of salvation in the age to come, our faith and love are sustained in the present era. Our hope encourages faith and love.
To live in the utter certainty of the hope of heavenly glory frees us from greed and bitterness and despair, from impatience and envy. Being captivated by this future that Paul says we’ve heard about in the gospel, empowers us to live in faith and love and to become examples of God’s new creation.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, you have gone to prepare a place for us. Prepare us now for that place. In the wonderful hope of glory, empower us to live in faith and love each day. Amen