January, 2019, Grateful for a New Year!
Dear Siloa Friends, Members, Neighbors, Family, Sisters and Brothers, Children of God,
Mark and Connie got married at Siloa on December 29 and they heard the words of Colossians 3, verses 12 to 17 as they began married life together. The next day, Siloa folks heard the same lesson read to them on the First Sunday of Christmas. These verses happen to be among my very, most favorite, verses of the New Testament. In this letter, Paul teaches and guides and shares his vision of what it looks like to be a Christian and what it looks like to be a part of a Christian congregation. In other words, here is a description of what it means to be followers of Jesus. Where and how do you recognize Jesus "ringing through" the words of this epistle?
Colossians 3: 12 As God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience. 13 Bear with one another and, if anyone has a complaint against another, forgive each other; just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. 14 Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. 15 And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in the one body. And be thankful. 16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly; teach and admonish one another in all wisdom; and with gratitude in your hearts sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs to God. 17 And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
A Christian is a follower of Jesus Christ. We pray that we might speak and act and live and die as Jesus did, because we understand Jesus to be "God among us", "Emmanuel". We hope that we might speak and act, in everything, "in the name of the Lord Jesus".
We can spend our entire lives learning how to be compassionate, kind, humble, and patient. It takes work and effort to carry life's burdens (and each other) and to forgive and to accept forgiveness from others. How can we encourage love and harmony and peace? (We all need more of each of these!) Can we learn to be grateful in every day and in all circumstances? Are we ready to teach and guide each other and our children? We will never get it right. We will never do it all. We will always need God and we will always need God's forgiveness.
This is the Good News: God is good, and God is on the move toward all that is good. Can we be grateful for that in our worship, our prayers and in the work and challenges of every day? Can we jump in and partner with God on this journey? All are welcome.
How can we encourage each other to live this gratitude and to keep singing the psalms, hymns and songs in this adventure we call God's gift of Life?
Hang On, 2019! Here we come! Peace, Pastor Dan Olson