Thursday of Christmas I – Colossians 3:12-17

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.

She was nothing special, at least as the world marked special. She did not have an Instagram following in the millions or a Twitter account. She had not been on television or in a film. But she was special, perhaps one of the saintliest people I have ever met. She fit into a number of categories. She was a mom, a grandmother, a great-grandmother. When you would come to church, she was almost always there. When there was an event, she would be helping. She was one of those folks upon whom churches are built.

But this is not what made her special. There were many others. It was that this passage simply described her. Read it again, slowly this time. We read far too fast sometimes. This was meant to be slowly digested when Paul wrote it. Pause and ponder what Paul means by every element in this paragraph.

These things were not an admonition to my friend or a goal. She was a good Lutheran, so she would have denied this, but honestly peace radiated from her. When you spent a little time at her side, just talking or serving, you left that moment better for it. God had worked most of this paragraph in her to an extent I have rarely seen. Jesus has come to bring this to us. For me and for most of the folks I know, this remains a goal. As Paul says, God will bring to completion on the day of Jesus Christ the good work He has started in us. I know that good work will look a little like my friend from some years ago. I am glad that he is working this in me. I thank God for some small progress made and look forward to more. This is a good place to be going.

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