Wednesday after Populus Sion, The Second Sunday in Advent
Scripture: Colossians 1:1-8 (NKJV)
1:1 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and Timothy our brother,
2 To the saints and faithful brethren in Christ who are in Colosse:
Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
3 We give thanks to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you, 4 since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of your love for all the saints; 5 because of the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, of which you heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel, 6 which has come to you, as it has also in all the world, and is bringing forth fruit, as it is also among you since the day you heard and knew the grace of God in truth; 7 as you also learned from Epaphras, our dear fellow servant, who is a faithful minister of Christ on your behalf, 8 who also declared to us your love in the Spirit.
Faith and love always go together: faith in Christ and love for all the saints. One never exists without the other. Faith and love characterized the Colossian Christians. It’s what they were known for throughout the world. It’s the report that reached St. Paul, for which he gave thanks to God and for which he commended them.
Where did their faith and love come from? Both came from the Holy Spirit, who convinced them through the Gospel of the hope laid up for them, and for all the saints, in Heaven. The Word of truth about Christ’s love for us poor sinners and about the glorious heavenly riches He has prepared for those who love Him kindles both faith and love in our hearts.
But faith and love don’t remain hidden in the heart. The faith of the heart is confessed joyfully with the mouth so that all may know that Christ has loved us, and that we acknowledge His love for us with thanksgiving. The love of the heart is both professed with the mouth and displayed in selfless service and acts of devotion to our brothers and sisters in Christ, both near and far.
May it be your goal to be known throughout the world, not for your own impressive deeds or talents, but for the faith and love that the Holy Spirit has worked in you through His Gospel and that He continues to feed and strengthen through the ministry of Word and Sacrament.
We pray: Father in Heaven, we give thanks to You for working faith and love in the hearts of Your saints. Strengthen our faith and increase our love by the powerful working of Your Holy Spirit, that we may be known as Your children and become a blessing to the saints throughout the world. Amen.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.