Scripture: Colossians 1:15-20; 3:5-11
This Sunday we are continuing with our sermon series, Church and State. We moved forward on our timeline to 80 A.D., and now we are examining how the destruction of the Temple impacted the other Christian churches founded throughout the Mediterranean. The church we are focusing on this Sunday is the church in Colossae. The city of Colossae is located in modern Turkey and the commerce of the city included trade in dyed wool and in the textiles produced from weaving wool.
The truth is, we don’t know very much about the church in Colossae. We don’t know who founded it (Paul never visited Colossae), we don’t much about their beliefs, but it’s one of the seven churches named in the letter of Revelation, which tells us that it probably has a close connection to Judaism and James’ church in Jerusalem.
Although we can’t be sure, it would seem that some of these second generation Christians from one of Paul’s original churches makes their way to the church in Colossae. When they arrive, what they find is a church that is struggling. The church in Colossae has a number of different factions that seem to believe different things about Jesus. This is not unlike what happened in many of Paul’s churches. So these second generation Christians, they are used to these types of conflicts.
The best thing to do would be to write to Paul, tell him what’s going on and have him write a letter that explains what they should and should not believe. Unfortunately, at the time all of this is happening, Paul is no longer alive, so he can’t write a letter. Therefore, these second generation Christians write to someone who knew Paul well and could write in Paul’s voice. Interestingly, what the writer of Colossians says in his letter ends up diverging from Paul’s original thoughts on Jesus.
This Sunday, we are going to explore how the author diverges and what that means for us as Christians today. May you have a wonderful weekend and I look forward to seeing you all on Sunday!