Whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. (Colossians 3:17)
This scripture verse actually seems quite simple. It is one we have been taught since childhood and one that many of us try to live by on a daily basis. We try very hard to do everything in the name of the Lord, and we try to remember to give thanks to his throughout out spiritual journey of growth.
Yet, when it was written to the Colossians, it was a very different time and circumstance. Let us see if the intention of this verse was also very different and if the ancient people of Colossus were very different from us.
Verses 14 through 17 address the fact that love must come before all else and that love surpasses al other virtues. This is repeated in Romans and 1 Corinthians 13. It is this surpassing love which is the bond that ties them in completeness (perfection). The one body of Christ is complete. Verse 15 has the quality of a prayer for the role of Christ’s peace within and among them; to such a life they have been called.
The words, ‘Be the grateful ones,’ are meant to be taken literally, Thanksgiving recalls the liturgical character of much of this letter and, at this point, both introduces and concludes a brief description of the worship of the community,
The first element of the worship is the word of Christ (the gospel), which is at work in the community through teaching and admonition in all wisdom.
The second element is singing with gratitude in your hearts, not with lips only. It is neither necessary nor possible to distinguish among psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, All are offered in praise and gratitude to God for what God has done in Christ.
Verse 17, which we study today, is a summary: everything said or done is to acknowledge the lordship of Jesus, thanking God in Christ’s name.
We find that we are not terrible different from the biblical historians nor the people of Colossus. We understand this verse today much as it was meant to be understood so long ago. May we, by the grace of God, continue to do everything in the name of the Lord and give thanks to God, our father in heaven.
References: The People’s New Testament Commentary by M. Eugene Boring and Fred B. Craddock and The MacArthur Bible Commentary by John MacArthur.
Columbia Prayer Chain: Thursday, January 10
In our prayers: Betty Jo Carson, Gary Davis, Eddie Bolton, Myrna, Esther, Pam James, Doug and Sharon, John Kelchner, Elizabeth Matthews, Nedrick Griffin, Jennifer Handy, Nancy Stuckey, Annemarie Sullivan, Rachel and Randy Wurtzbaugh, Patty Peckham, Denise Byrd, Greg and Lisa Steele, Dean Timothy Jones, Linda Langford, Marty Fritz, Harriet Hancock, Tommy and Robby Palmer, Patty and Ted Mac Laughlin, Janet Long, Bobby Wilson, Debbie and Pat Barry, Betty Jo Sullivan, Mary Francis Harris, Patrick and Patricia Barry, Jordan Hill, Doris Clevenger, Charles Sigel, Bob Davis, John Whatley, Nancy Zuckerman, Charles Davis Sr., Bill Carter, Betty Peavy Frick, Joye Cantrell, Fred and Gail, Dale and Norma Sessions, Padge Arrington, Jerry Callahan, Norman Masters
In memoriam: Jimmie “Big Jim” Wendell Abell, Prescott S. Baines, Frank Bristol, Jymmie Arleene R. Drafts, Claryce J. Elder, SSgt. 1st Class Gilbert R. Williams, Matilda Harrison-Whaley, Eleanor Veronica Morrissey Foiles, Marian Herrin Lawson, Annie Elizabeth Roof Monts
Our prayers are with: the elderly, the homeless, all currently fighting illness, all beloved pets, our president and congress, our police officers and firefighters, all who serve in the armed forces
Columbia Prayer Chain is open to all residents of greater Columbia who would like to share prayers and receive the prayers of others. Please leave your name in the comment box below or email me to join our Prayer Chain. It is updated daily.