The book of Colossians is one of the Apostle Paul’s most significant writings. It is part of a group of letters, from the Apostle Paul, known as the “Prison Letters.” Paul was in prison but allowed the freedom to write and connect with the young churches he had started. Through these letters, Paul would strengthen the faith of the early church and teach the faith to future generations.
Even though Paul had been arrested and confined, he was still successful in sharing the good news of Jesus Christ and growing the church. Paul’s work is an example to us all. Although his journeys were stopped, Paul was still able to find a way forward. This is because Paul stayed focused on the One who called him into ministry. Paul would find strength, inspiration, and the grace to continue his work, even while under arrest. His focus on Christ allowed his perception to remain positive, even while enduring the hardship of imprisonment.
We find evidence of Paul’s understanding of Christ in the first chapter of Colossians. Paul would write of Jesus;
The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross. (Colossians 1:15-20)
As Paul reflects on Christ, he is reminded of the loving work of God in our world. The life of Jesus reflects a heavenly reality that brings light to the darkest of times in our world and in our lives.
The Apostle Paul may have been stopped from traveling and starting new churches, but his continual focus on who Jesus is allowed him to go forward. When we focus on Christ, we too will find all that we need for the life that God has called us to live.
– Rev. Keith King, Pastor of Worship