our small group has been reading colossians. we wanted to set ourselves up for success, so we picked one of the shortest books of the bible. there are only 4 chapters. we've been at it for about 4-5 weeks. we are ALMOST finished with chapter two. almost. it's good though, because the whole book is jam-packed with too much good information. not that other books in the bible are NOT packed with too much good information. you know what i'm saying.
anyhoo, i read ahead a few weeks ago, and am completely stuck on chapter 3. the part about 'rules for holy living'. yikes. chris' grandmother told me once that she was studying the love verse in 1 corinthians, and she tried to practice each attribute of love, starting with 'love is patient' continuing on to 'love is kind, it does not envy...' i think she said she was 'stuck' on the first one for quite a while. which is understandable cause it was when she was mothering 4 young boys.
anyhow, so i am reading through this chapter, and it's making me feel like garbage, cause i realize more and more that i am full of garbage: "set your heart on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on earthly things..."
with easter coming up, you'd think i would naturally be full of pious thoughts, and thankfulness for what my Savior did on the cross for me (and for you!). but alas, i have fallen captive to the american way of celebrating easter- easter dresses, easter baskets, etc. etc. i say this is the 'american way' because when i was living in canada, i was unaware that people made such a big commercial deal about easter. but i was unaware of quite a bit when i lived in canada. sometimes that was a good thing, sometimes not. it didn't make me holier, maybe just apathetic.
but here in the land of the free, everywhere you go, there are beautiful and fluffy dresses for girls, supercute preppy outfits for boys, wonderfully cute things to fill easter baskets with. they are in the stores, ads appear in all 6 of my e-mail addresses, i am overcome with the desire to buy buy buy!
and is that what Easter is about? of course not. but do my thoughts rest, daily, on what easter is about? not really.
chapter 3 continues: "put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry... but now you must rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander and filthy language from your lips." ah. so much more to work on. of late, i have been repeating the latter portion of that verse to myself when i get riled up about nothingness and am filled with impatience, and BAD WORDS. seriously, i have to repeat that about 3 times a day. minimum. i don't know why i have such anger in my heart. or filthy language from my lips. but it probably has to do with my heart, and it's condition, and what it's fixated on. and like i said before, it ain't always Jesus.
i am so stuck on that beginning part of chapter 3 that i find it hard to read on, but i must, cause it tells me what to fill the gap with: "therefore as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentlness, and patience." and there is no greater picture of someone who lived all this out, than in the person of Jesus Christ, who died on the cross, a very torturous death, and yet still displayed compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience, all the while. yowsers.
if you read through colossians, one thing that is mentioned in every chapter is thankfulness. we need to be thankful, no matter what circumstances are around us. thankful for the people around us, thankful for Jesus, thankful to God, for all things.
so, no matter what you end up wearing for easter, or what is or isn't in your basket, i wish you all a happy easter.