The city of Colossae, near Laodicea and Ephesus (in what we now call the country of Turkey), had once been a great trading city, but by the time Paul wrote this letter to the church there, it was little more than a country village. The church in Colossae, founded by local man, Epaphras, has been described as the least important church that Paul ever wrote to!
And yet Paul begins his letter by saying how much he gives thanks to God for this small church in an unimportant village. Even though they may have seemed small and unimportant in human terms, their faith in Jesus Christ, and their love for one another had brought them to Paul’s attention.
The Colossians may not have been rich or powerful, but this didn’t stop them from being serious contenders in God’s kingdom. Paul points out that the gospel was growing and bearing fruit in them, and had done so from the first day they heard it. Perhaps others in more important, big city churches may have looked down on the Colossians, worshipping in a backwater of the empire, but God had seen their hearts and their faith.
Importantly, the Colossians understood that their “hope” was stored up for them in heaven. They lived according to their faith every day, knowing that there were blessings ahead that they had not experienced yet. This is not as easy as it might sound. How do we cope when our prayers are not answered immediately? How do we respond when others seem to have so much more than us, or when they seem to be moving ahead of us? Do we remember “the hope stored up for [us] in heaven”?
Today, let’s ask God to remind us of this great hope which is the anchor for our soul (Hebrews 6:19) so that, like the Colossians, we may live out our faith daily, and be recognised for our love for one another.