Jeremiah 6:16-8:7, Colossians 2:8-23, Psalm 78:1-31, Proverbs 24:26
Today is the fourth day of October, welcome to the Daily Audio Bible. I am Brian and it is a joy to be back together, around the Global Campfire again today. Today, and every day. As we center ourselves around the Scriptures, come together in community and allow the Holy Spirit to work through the Scriptures and transforming our lives all over the place, what a joy that this place exists and that we can come here and find a place around the Global Campfire and move forward together. We began the book of Jeremiah yesterday. We talked about that then. And so, we’ll continue that journey today. We also concluded Paul’s letter to the Philippians yesterday, so that means that when we get to the New Testament today, we will move into new territory and that new territory is another of the letters of Paul. This one to the church at Colossae, also known as Colossians and we’ll talk about that when we get there. But first, let’s dive back in the Jeremiah. We’re reading from the New International Version this week, Jeremiah chapter 2 verse 31 through 4 verse 18.
Introduction to the Book of Colossians:
Okay, so, we mentioned at the beginning, that we would be moving into another of Paul’s letters, brand-new, fresh and shiny and sparkly today. The letter to the Colossians, which happens to be the 12th book in the New Testament. And Colossae wasn’t a place that Paul had never heard of before. He was obviously writing a letter to people. He was familiar enough; he spent a lot of time in Ephesus, as we know. And Colossae’s about 100 miles from Ephesus, which is in the western part of modern-day Turkey. Actually, Colossae has been discovered; it’s just a mound like so many archaeological sites that have…haven’t been officially excavated professionally. But it has been identified. So, it’s the ruins of what it once was. But during Paul’s life, it wasn’t in ruins. It was a melting pot, a secular city. A lot of mingling of philosophical ideas, a lot of religious exchange. And these things had made their way into the church at Colossae. And so, this letter is a response to that. And it is believed, along with some of the other letters that we have written, this letter to the Colossians was written while Paul was in prison in Rome, making this a prison epistle or a letter written from prison. And we’ve already talked about this, like this trial that Paul is waiting for, is a life and death trial. So, just kind of having that in the back of our minds as the back story, is certainly compelling enough to make us sit up and pay attention. And like most of Paul’s letters, this isn’t an extraordinarily long letter; the letter to the Romans is a pretty long letter, a lot longer than Colossians. But in Colossians, Paul is trying to deal basically with two things. One is an issue of doctrine. It seems that people had visited Colossae and had visited the Colossian church and were teaching the worship of angels and…and other rituals that just were not part of the churches that Paul planted. And so, Paul addresses this by reminding the Colossians that Jesus is supreme over all creation. There is no one, worshiping angels isn’t worshiping God. He tells the Colossians that the whole universe, everything was created by and through Jesus and everything is held together and sustained through the Lordship of Jesus. And then the other issue that Paul’s writing about is an issue that we have seen in other letters. This is the whether or not you have to be circumcised to become a follower of Jesus. And it’s even deeper than that, like circumcision is this outward representation of the idea that one would need to convert to Judaism and come under the…the Mosaic law and follow the rituals and customs and worldview of the Jewish people, and then follow Jesus. Circumcision being this outward sign of that, something that the people were, not to make a pun, that were quite religious about. And from reading other letters, we come to know Paul’s posture about it. We know where he stands. He doesn’t like it and he has, he has similar things to say to the Colossians that we’ve heard before. And it’s good for us to have these letters because these are letters to different communities in different regions, and they have in the space of a similar time period. So, it just kind of reading between the lines, looking at the things that Paul is feeling. Like he needs to tell the church. It allows us then, to look inside the church community of our early brothers and sisters and see what was going on. The kinds of things that they were wrestling with, which then helps us with context, not only to understand the Scriptures, but context to apply to our own lives and the things that we have to wrestle with. So, with that, let’s go ahead and dive in and wrestle together, as we move through Paul’s letter to the Colossians. Today chapter 1 verses 1 through 17.
Father, we thank You for Your word. Once again, thank You for bringing us into this month and we’re settling into some new territory here in the book of Colossians and in the book of Jeremiah. And we open our hearts fully to what You have to speak to us, we thank You for your patience. Thank You for your guidance. Thank You for Your comfort and correction and we want to be transformed too. Sometimes it’s really painful. And sometimes it’s really, really, really hard work. Like we were talking about yesterday, but the peace that passes all understanding and the fact that we have to collaborate in that. So, we simply recognize our own inability to sustain any of this and we cling desperately to what Paul is saying today in Colossians, that You hold it all together and have us. And so, hold it together for us Lord, thank You for your compassion, while we continue to grow and learn. Holy Spirit come, may we mature, may we grow. We confess we act like little toddlers all of the time, stamping our feet and rolling around on the ground when we don’t get our way. We so often get confused as if You are our servant, instead of that we are Your servants. We are Your servant, Lord. Thank You for letting us be a part of Your story. Lead us into all truth. We pray in the name of Jesus, we ask. Amen.
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Prayer and Encouragements will be posted the evening of 6OCT22.