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Let the Word of Christ Dwell in You Richly

10 March • Fourth Sunday in Lent


Colossians 3:10-17

10 and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator. 11 Here there is not Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free; but Christ is all, and in all.


12 Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, 13 bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. 14 And above all these put on 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 one body. And be thankful. 16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts 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.

Meditation

 

Verse 16 says “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly...”.


What does this mean in practical terms? What would characterise a person (or a church) that allows the word of Christ to dwell richly within her?


Is it someone who has memorised many Bible verses?


Or a church that devotes time during Sunday worship service to recite Bible verses together?


These are certainly good practical suggestions. But we should also look to the surrounding verses to discern the answers which the apostle Paul provides.


If the Word of Christ dwells richly within us and our church fellowship, then we will be people who are:

  1. Thankful (see the repeated emphasis on thanks- giving in verses 15, 16 & 17) rather than touchy (see verses 12-13 on being patient, bearing with, and forgiving one another)

  2. Peaceable rather than polarising (verse 15, note the parallel phrases: to “let the peace of Christ rule” is to “let the word of Christ dwell”; our “call” or commission is to be one body, united, not divided)

  3. Teaching and learning the wisdom of the Word together (verse 16)

  4. Singing and sharing the Word through songs (verse 16)

  5. Above all, loving and kind (verses 14 & 12).

Such are those who let the Word of Christ dwell richly within them.


Prayer

 

Father, may the Word of Christ live in us richly, that we might be people rich in the fruit of Your Spirit: Joy, Peace and above all, Love. Amen.


Action

 

What actions might the Word of Christ inspire us to do today? An act of thanksgiving, or peacemaking? Teaching someone, or sharing with them a song? An act of love and kindness to a neighbour or colleague? “Let us love, not in words only, but in actions.” (1 John 3:18)


Bishop Dr Gordon Wong

Bishop, The Methodist Church in Singapore

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