A couple of Sundays ago, the sermon focused on Colossians 3:5-17. You may recall that passage from Colossians included 3 lists of 5 qualities (vv. 5, 8, 12). Some of the lists were encouraging and positive; some were not. There was so much I felt the need to say about those 3 lists that much of the rest of the passage was just ignored. Such is the plight of preaching with lunch on our minds.
One specific theme really attracted and intrigued me, but time would not allow any significant exploration of those verses. In particular, I’m thinking about the themes of thankfulness and gratitude in verses 15-17.
“And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in the one body. And be thankful. 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” (Colossians 3:15-17, NRSV).
Over the years I’ve heard many of our members express gratitude and thankfulness for the love, support, and encouragement they received from Central Bearden during a crisis. I didn’t know when I was preaching that sermon how much love and support I and my family would receive from our church family. It was and is truly overwhelming. For those of us who are often on the giving, listening, praying, how-can-we-help-you side, it is quite a shift and bit challenging to be on the receiving side of such outpouring.
Thank you, as you heard about my mother’s death, for the prayers, emails, text messages, cards, flowers, memorial gifts, hugs and phone calls. We are humbled. I am deeply moved. We are loved. I am honored to be part of this community of faith. This Sunday, with gratitude in our hearts, we will sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs to God, for we are not without hope and certainly not without love.