Tag Archives: faith

Under Pressure?

GROW – Colossians

Week 1 – Colossians 1:1-23

This month the Methodist communities I serve in Bognor Regis, Felpham and Westergate are going to be studying the letter to the Colossians, and my Sunday reflection videos are going to take a sneaky peak too.

This week we’re looking at Colossians 1:1-23, which forms something of the trailer for what’s to come in the rest of the letter. It sets the scene for us.

The Colossian Christian community have been coming under pressure. Colossae had been a busy riverside city, a centre of trade – but other cities had overtaken them and Colossae had become a bit of a has been place.

As a result, there was a lack of hope, there was uncertainty in the community. And pressure was building from many corners of their society. All vying for attention, cults presenting themselves as truth and hope and salvation.

Paul, who writes this letter from prison, and has never met the Colossian Christians face to face. He’s heard of their faith, and he writes to them. Much like me speaking to a camera right now, hoping that you who are watching will be encouraged in your faith, Paul wanted to encourage them.

And so he writes:

In our prayers for you we always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, for we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love that you have for all the saints, because of the hope laid up for you in heaven.

Colossians 1:1-23

Paul writes to encourage and affirm the Colossian Christians in the faith they have…

‘you’re doing good’

Keep at it…

Despite the pressures around you, keep at it.

Keep focused on Jesus.

There’s much more Paul wants to say about Jesus – and why keeping focused on Jesus gives hope – and we’ll come back to that more next week.

But this week – I want to encourage you.

Life is full of pressure and uncertainty right now.

And here in the UK we’re in a patchwork of restrictions across the country, there’s very live debate about whether the restrictions are going to far, or not far enough, what the scientific evidence is…

There’s so much vying for out attention.

Some much competition for truth.

Just as Paul encourages the Colossian Christian community to keep on keeping on, despite the pressure around them, my encouragement to you is to keep on keeping on.

If you a Christian – keep at your relationship with Jesus.

Paul goes on to celebrate the truth that the Colossian community’s faith is bearing fruit and growing among them (1:6).

Church – keep growing, keep praising, keep praying, keep encouraging one another in faith.

Keep asking questions and looking to God for answers.

If you’re not a Christian, then I want say to you – that despite all the noise around us, and around you, presenting itself as truth and hope – there is one true source of hope that will be faithful to you, and never leave you – Jesus.

Jesus is hope, and truth, and light.

Jesus has, and continues to make such a difference to my life.

Jesus is the one certainty, the one truth, we can hold onto.

We’ll look at more on how Paul presents the hope Jesus gives next week.

For now, keep on keeping on.

Despite pressure and uncertainty,

Looking to Jesus,

Grow and bear fruit.

Downloadable PDF

More on Colossians

Life Jacket

This hi-viz belongs to one of my daughters – a bit small for me! They often wear them when they ride along the pavement on their bikes.

They don’t call it a hi-viz though They know it helps keep them safe and so they have always called it a life jacket.

What do you have that keeps you safe?

Of course we’re familiar with face coverings, keeping distance from one another, we have speed limits and breaks on bikes and cars. We are surrounded by things that are there to keep us safe.

As Christians, sometimes we talk about Jesus saving us.
We call Jesus the Saviour of the World.
Saviour – literally means someone who saves someone else from danger.
Jesus is, in many ways, a life jacket for us, for me, for you, for all the world.

In John 12:46-47 we read Jesus say:

‘I have come as light to the world, so that everyone who believes in me will not be in darkness, I came, not to judge the world, but to save the world’

I have come as light to the world: A bit like a fluorescent jacket, Jesus offers light. Jesus light is not for a limited group people Jesus has written down on a list – Jesus says this light is for all the world – whoever believes will not be in darkness There’s no limit to who can be saved by Jesus’ light – simply believe Jesus is who he says he is – the light of the world, the son of God.

Know the Jesus is not here to judge – but save I would look prettyridiculousif I went out trying to wear this wouldn’t I – I may get a few judgmental looks!

Well we’re reminded here that Jesus doesn’t judge us, and Jesus doesn’t judge you – Jesus doesn’t look at us and criticise us – Jesus came because of God’s love for the world, to save the world.

And if you’re watching this from the world – then my friend that includes you!

If you want to know more about Jesus do get in touch via social media, email, old fashioned telephone – we would love to talk with you.

Downloadable PDF Version

Testimony Thursday: Good Days, Bad Days

#A week or ago, I was included in an email sent to quite a number of people with the subject heading ‘a reminder to worship’ and this verse:

As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving.

Colossians 2:6-7, NRSV

As I read those words I was struck by how different life looks now to how it did only a few weeks ago – and how at times it really doesn’t feel like I’m continuing anything.

I don’t know about you, but for me, almost everything that was in my diary over the last 6 weeks has been cancelled or postponed, and almost everything I’m doing now, whether it be work or family life, is very much different to how it normally is or was planned to be. How can I continue anything?

But after my instinctive reaction, I soon realised that this summons to the disciples of Colossae was not about the practicalities of church life and family living, but about continuing living in Jesus. Continuing to be rooted and built up in Christ. Continuing to sustain and deepen the faith they have already been pursuing, the faith they have already been taught and grounded in. Always giving thanks.

In the last few weeks,
I’ve had good days and bad days.
Happy days and sad days.
Days where I’ve felt I’ve made a difference.
Days when I’ve wondered if I should even have got out of bed!

Yet all the while, no matter how I’ve felt about the ‘stuff’ of my day, I’ve been certain of the fact that Jesus is there beside me.

I found this stone on the beach last week, round with a hole in it and, to me, it was like the empty tomb. It now sits on my desk next to my little stone cross as a reminder that no matter how I feel at any moment of any day, Jesus is alive and with me every step of the way.

As you continue to live in Jesus, I pray you know for yourself that he lives and is with you every step of the way.

May the peace of the Risen Christ be with you.

Rev Dan


Join the conversation

How has God been speaking to you this week? Please share in the comments below as we encourage each other to continue in faith.