“Building Up the Body: Worker-to-Worker” is a series of church worker wellness devotions. Visit lcms.org/wellness for more resources.
By Sarah Baughman, Lutheran author and deaconess candidate
Child of God, hear it again
“Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving.” (Col. 2:6–7)
Consider reading Col. 2:6–15
St. Paul is not imparting anything new to the Colossians in this passage. They’ve heard the gist of this before. We’ve heard it, too.
Jesus Christ, true God and true Man, was born, lived, suffered, died, and rose — all for fallen humanity, at whose creation He was witness and participant.
We’ve been brought into His kingdom, by virtue of our faith-giving baptism into the name of the Triune God who loves us.
Still, sometimes we need to hear it again.
My children know that we expect them to clean up after themselves when they finish playing with Legos or some other toy. They know they’re expected to clear their plates after a meal. They know they’re expected to perform any number of other tasks throughout the day.
However, when I fail to remind them it’s easy for them to fall out of the patterns we’ve established for them.
Similarly, in this passage, Paul is reminding the Colossians of the pattern of the life in Christ they’ve been given.
It’s a reminder we need to hear, too. Just like the Colossians, we have voices calling to us that are not of Christ.
Philosophy and empty deceit, human tradition, spirits of the world … they’re all as active now as they were 2,000 years ago.
Pilate’s question of “What is truth?” is still asked by many people … maybe even more now than asked it all those years ago.
What examples can you identify? What ideas or even lies do we hear that lead some people away from the life-giving Truth of God’s Word?
While it can be difficult to carve out time, the best defense against these distractions and lies is that of remaining in Christ and His Word.
As people who work in and for God’s Church, we’ve all heard this, we all know this, we’ve all experienced this.
Still, it bears repeating: Remain in Christ.
Remaining is more than sitting. Our sinful nature would blow us away like a leaf in a stiff breeze, given the chance.
Satan is crafty and desperate, the world presses in on us from every side, and our own sinful inclination toward selfishness would surely pull us far from grace if it could.
But God doesn’t leave us defenseless. Just as He sent Christ to free us from the hopeless situation of our sin and bring us into the wonderful kingdom of His grace, He doesn’t leave us with the impossible task of remaining by our own power.
He sends His Spirit, working in the Holy Scriptures of His Word, working in the means of grace and preaching and teaching, in confession and absolution, in the conversations we share with one another, the care and compassion spurred on by Christ’s love, poured out on and for us.
He not only brings us in, but grows our roots deep. He not only brings us in, but builds us up.
He prepares a place and tasks and relationships for us, to keep us and to keep others.
Lord, we’ve heard it before. Still, it bears repeating: Help us to remain in Jesus. Amen.
Sarah Baughman is the author of A Flame in the Dark: A Novel about Luther’s Reformation. Sarah earned her B.A. in Theology with a minor in English from Concordia University Chicago. She and her husband, Karl, have four children.
LCMS church workers and their families are invited to offer encouragement to other workers and families by submitting a 500-word devotion for the Synod’s worker-to-worker wellness devotion series. Email questions and submissions to firstname.lastname@example.org.