URC Daily Devotion Saturday, 6 January 2024

Colossians 3: 5 – 11

Put to death, therefore, whatever in you is earthly: fornication, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed (which is idolatry).  On account of these the wrath of God is coming on those who are disobedient.  These are the ways you also once followed, when you were living that life. But now you must get rid of all such things—anger, wrath, malice, slander, and abusive language from your mouth.  Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have stripped off the old self with its practices  and have clothed yourselves with the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge according to the image of its creator.  In that renewal  there is no longer Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave and free; but Christ is all and in all!


My suspicious mind wonders whether the frequency of  ‘makeover’ programmes on TV is because they are relatively cheap to make. However, they are also extremely popular, and many of us can enjoy watching both the transformations of rooms or gardens, but also the reactions of those who return to their home to see the results. Some of the appeal is that despite the element of jeopardy that is frequently introduced – or even engineered – things always get finished, and there’s a clear impression that change is relatively easy.

In the letter to the Colossians the makeover is of people rather than places. Members of the church are reminded that they have been transformed – they have stripped off the old, and put on new clothes. They have given up anger, wrath and all the other bad things, and they now wear a different outfit. That part is written in the past tense – it’s a done deal. However, as the sentence goes on, we are reminded that the new outfit is being constantly refashioned. Our new selves are not the finished article, but are a work in progress.

As Christians we live in a world of ‘now and not yet’. We have the gift of God’s new life – but are also very much works in progress, both as individuals, and communities.  We are being renewed, Christ is the pattern of our being. If we believe that Christ is ‘in all’ then he is in each one of us. If we believe that Christ ‘is all’ then we have a pattern for our new way of being.

Unlike Changing Rooms or Ground Force, the process of becoming the people God wants us to be is neither quick nor simple. As an old tee shirt slogan used to say: “Be patient – God hasn’t finished with me yet”.


Renewing God,
help us to work with you as you strip us of our old selves and reclothe us.
Challenge us when we are tempted to wear the old clothes
and remind us of that amazing fact, that you are in all, and in us.
Transforming God,
we ask that through our own renewal
we will, in some small way, transform your world. Amen

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