“Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in the one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly; teach and admonish one another in all wisdom; and with gratitude in your hearts sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs to God.” Colossians 3: 15-16
Surely one of the most difficult things about pandemic life is negotiating the barriers placed in front of us. For our own health and the health of others, we mask, distance, separate, meet on video, and follow medical guidelines. Although such protocols are important to personal and public safety, we pay a price and suffer loss because of it. As a result, many of us are simply not okay. We are not as we once were. We are uncertain who we will be. Living in that “liminal” space, a place where one is not where one used to be and yet still on the edge of something not quite new can be incredibly uncomfortable and fearful. I know. I idle there too.
Over the past two years of this pandemic, our family like so many others faced many challenges. Separation from members of our family who live away, changes to the way we shop, gather, worship, go about our day plus the stress of several health issues added layer upon layer to the already heavy weight of this pandemic and the vulnerability we feel. It reminded us we are not and never have been in control.
The good news for us is that we are not alone in that space; we never have been. In his letter to the Colossians, Paul presents a blueprint for how to live our lives in the body of Christ. He tells us to “clothe yourselves with love” and “let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts,” suggesting that Christ’s peace not only rules our own heart but influences how we engage with others. Paul says we need to be thankful as we live in the word. And lastly, he calls us to gratitude and song.
When we feel isolated, unsure and weak, remembering how we ought to live within the body of Christ reestablishes our feet on solid ground even though it may feel shaky.
Ellen Herman Campbell
The people of Grace share their favorite bible stories for the 2023 Lenten Devotional: I Love to Tell the Story. Each day's devotional will be automatically posted so come back daily after 7 am for a new reflection.