SUNDAY, AUGUST 6, 2017
Colossae was close to the major crossroads between east and west in Asia Minor and Europe. By the first century a sizable number of Jewish citizens lived among the mostly non-Jewish population of the region contributing to a highly diverse culture.
So, the latest fads, fashions, science and philosophies would find resonance among the people as travelers and traders would come through town. Religious thinking would not be immune from such diverse cultural and spiritual forces ranging from the one-God belief of the Jews to the multi-god religions of the non-Jews or Gentiles.
Imprisoned in Rome, the apostle Paul had heard of the work of Epaphras who had been a major influence in Colossae, planting a church there and in other local communities. However, Epaphras came to Paul with special concerns about the effect that many of the cultural and religious influences were having upon the members of this fledgling congregation. The letter to the Colossians is Paul’s answer to the concerns of Epaphras and for others in the area…
…and for us. In a confusing time of cultural and spiritual influences in our own world it is often difficult to navigate between the really important things and those that are of lesser importance. Being grounded firmly in what is most important in our faith is a critical part to navigating the constantly changing winds of belief in our world today.
The following blogs are annotations from my sermons during the months of August and September 2017. These brief notes on Paul’s letter to the church in Colossae will be an important part of helping us chart our future course in Muskegon, Michigan and beyond.