Yesterday I had the privilege of taking the wedding of Jordan and Esme. The whole day was awesome. It was a bit of a family affair for us. Angus was in the wedding party, Ben and Siobhan did the photography and as I said - I took the service. As part of the service Colossians 3:12 - 17 was read. After it was read I gave a short message and here is some of it (modified).
There are a couple of institutions that God said would be a good idea, both of which are called family. One was when two people give themselves to each other in wedlock and the other is his Church and this passage in Colossians has some good advice for both.
In this passage the writer calls us "chosen" and "dearly loved". They are powerful words. Isn't incredible to think that God calls us chosen and dearly loved.
The word for love here is agape - Agape love involves faithfulness. It is an act of the will. It is not a feeling. Agape is a sacrificial love that voluntarily suffers inconvenience, discomfort, and even death for the benefit of another without expecting anything in return. (Which Darrell reminded us of last week)
One of the greatest joys of life is to know that we are dearly loved. It is the joy a child knows, the joy a spouse understands and the joy that brings the peace that we as children of God know. It is a love that is not determined by what we do or how we act but by a commitment by the other party to love. How incredible is that?
Now the passage goes on to talk about some of the ways that this love is shown. Compassion, Kindness, Humility Gentleness, Patience and forbearance. All wonderful things - easy to receive and hard to give.
But there was one more thing in that list in Colossians. Yeah, Paul tells us to Forgive.
How is it possible to do all these things? The answer comes in verse 15 of that passage and it is this. Put Christ at the centre of your lives. Live as he would encourage.