COLOSSIANS

 

INTRODUCTION:

Over the next few months, Area 10 Faith Community will be studying the book of Colossians on Sunday mornings. As a supplement to Sunday mornings, our community will also commit to reading through Colossians together- meditating, reflecting, and memorizing so that Paul’s words can become further rooted in our hearts and minds.

STRUCTURE:

Each week, we will read over the same passage in Colossians seven times in a row. Spending multiple days reflecting on the same words will enrich our understanding of the passage and allow us to see it from multiple angles and perspectives. While the English Standard Version (ESV) is provided in this document, we highly encourage you to read multiple translations of the same passage in order to hear Colossians in multiple ways. Here is an example:

Day 1- English Standard Version

Day 2- The Message

Day 3- New International Version

Day 4- The Voice

Day 5- King James Version

Day 6- J.B. Phillips Translation

Day 7- New Living Translation

If you don’t have access to multiple translations, use the app YouVersion on your phone or visit www.biblegateway.com. In addition to reading the same passage throughout the week, we want to encourage you to memorize one verse during the week as well. In doing so, we can live out the words of Paul in Colossians 3:16- “Let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly.”

Before diving into the daily readings of Colossians, we’d encourage you to look up The Bible Project’s video, Read Scripture: Colossians, for a quick introduction into the book. We’d also encourage you to find 15 minutes in your day to read through the entire letter in one sitting to help give you a better overall understanding of what Paul is trying to accomplish. Look up N.T. Wright’s video, “The Whole Sweep of Scripture,” to learn more about why. 

Scripture quotations are from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.LECTIO DIVINA

Lectio Divina

Lectio Divina is a spiritual discipline that has been used by the Church for over 1500 years. It literally means ‘divine reading’ or ‘spiritual reading.’ The goal of lectio divina is to spend time digesting the Word of God and not just dissecting it.  To slow down, ruminate, listen, and respond. The Italian monk Benedict made this practice a common part of his daily routine and encouraged his community to do the same.

The German theologian Karl Barth once wrote, “I’ve read many books, but the Bible is the only book that reads me.” The aim of slow, contemplative reading is to allow God’s Word to read you and breathe new life into your life. The author of Hebrews says it like this:

“For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.”

Lectio divina in its purest form is reading a short passage of Scripture, repeatedly, out loud, until a particular word, phrase, or thought jumps out to you. You then spend time contemplating what God might be trying to say to you through the text and offer it back to God as a prayer. The goal of lectio divina is to experience the presence of God through the Word of God. It is a formative habit that shapes us into the image of Christ. This practice can be done in solitude or in community.

For each week of our study through Colossians, we’ve created some space for you to journal your thoughts and provided some anchoring questions for you to work through in your time of reading and reflection.

 

CENTERING QUESTIONS

What is a word, phrase, thought, or image that jumps out to me?

How is my life touched by this word?

What does this passage teach me about God or Jesus?

How have I seen that be true in my own life?

How can I apply what I’ve read here?

How can I voice what I’ve read back to God as a prayer?

LENT

Lent is a season of forty days (not counting Sundays) which begins on Ash Wednesday (February 14, this year) and ends on Maundy Thursday (March 26, this year). Lent comes from the Anglo Saxon word lencten, which means "spring." The forty days represent the time Jesus spent in the wilderness, enduring the temptation of Satan and preparing to begin his ministry (Matthew 4:1-11, Luke 4:1-13).

Lent is a time of repentance, fasting and preparation for the coming of Easter. It is a time of self-examination and reflection. In the early church, Lent was a time to prepare new converts for baptism. Today, Christians focus on their relationship with God, often choosing to give up something or to volunteer and give of themselves for others.

While our study of Colossians begins just before Lent, we join in the spirit of Lent with our brothers and sisters in the Church around the world as we seek the Lord through prayer, devotion, and meditation during this holy season.

HOLY WEEK

The week before Easter Sunday is known by Christians worldwide as Holy Week. This is a time to remember the events of the week leading up to Jesus’ death and resurrection. For a more comprehensive explanation of what Holy Week is and what it entails, look up OnFaith.co’s article, “Jesus, Bunnies, and Colored Eggs: An Explanation of Holy Week and Easter.”

LENT REFLECTION

“In many cultures there is an ancient custom of giving a tenth of each year's income to some holy use. For Christians, to observe the forty days of Lent is to do the same thing with roughly a tenth of each year's days. After being baptized by John in the river Jordan, Jesus went off alone into the wilderness, where he spent forty days asking himself the question of what it meant to be Jesus. During Lent, Christians are supposed to ask one way or another what it means to be themselves.

If you had to bet everything you have on whether there is a God or whether there isn't, which side would get your money and why? 

When you look at your face in the mirror, what do you see in it that you most like and what do you see in it that you most deplore? 

If you had only one last message to leave to the handful of people who are most important to you, what would it be in twenty-five words or less? 

Of all the things you have done in your life, which is the one you would most like to undo? Which is the one that makes you happiest to remember? 

Is there any person in the world or any cause that, if circumstances called for it, you would be willing to die for? If this were the last day of your life, what would you do with it?

To hear yourself try to answer questions like these is to begin to hear something not only of who you are, but of both what you are becoming and what you are failing to become. It can be a pretty depressing business all in all, but if sackcloth and ashes are at the start of it, something like Easter may be at the end.”

-Frederick Buechner

 

WEEK 1- FEBRUARY 5-11

COLOSSIANS 1:1-14

1 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and Timothy our brother, 2 To the saints and faithful brothers in Christ at Colossae:  Grace to you and peace from God our Father.

3 We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, 4 since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love that you have for all the saints, 5 because of the hope laid up for you in heaven. Of this you have heard before in the word of the truth, the gospel, 6 which has come to you, as indeed in the whole world it is bearing fruit and increasing—as it also does among you, since the day you heard it and understood the grace of God in truth, 7 just as you learned it from Epaphras our beloved fellow servant. He is a faithful minister of Christ on your behalf 8 and has made known to us your love in the Spirit.

9 And so, from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, 10 so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him: bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; 11 being strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy; 12 giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light. 13 He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

 

MEMORY VERSE:

“Walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him: bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God.” (Colossians 1:10)

 

CENTERING QUESTIONS

  • What is a word, phrase, thought, or image that jumps out to me?
  • How is my life touched by this word?
  • What does this passage teach me about God or Jesus?
  • How have I seen that be true in my own life?
  • How can I apply what I’ve read here?
  • How can I voice what I’ve read back to God as a prayer?

WEEK 2- FEBRUARY 12-18

COLOSSIANS 1:15-23

15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. 16 For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. 17 And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18 And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. 19 For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, 20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.

21 And you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, 22 he has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before him, 23 if indeed you continue in the faith, stable and steadfast, not shifting from the hope of the gospel that you heard, which has been proclaimed in all creation under heaven, and of which I, Paul, became a minister.

 

MEMORY VERSE

“For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him.” (Colossians 1:16)

 

CENTERING QUESTIONS

  • What is a word, phrase, thought, or image that jumps out to me?
  • How is my life touched by this word?
  • What does this passage teach me about God or Jesus?
  • How have I seen that be true in my own life?
  • How can I apply what I’ve read here?
  • How can I voice what I’ve read back to God as a prayer?

WEEK 3- FEBRUARY 19-25

COLOSSIANS 2:1-7

For I want you to know how great a struggle I have for you and for those at Laodicea and for all who have not seen me face to face, 2 that their hearts may be encouraged, being knit together in love, to reach all the riches of full assurance of understanding and the knowledge of God's mystery, which is Christ, 3 in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. 4 I say this in order that no one may delude you with plausible arguments. 5 For though I am absent in body, yet I am with you in spirit, rejoicing to see your good order and the firmness of your faith in Christ.

6 Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him, 7 rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving.

 

MEMORY VERSE

“That their hearts may be encouraged, being knit together in love, to reach all the riches of full assurance of understanding and the knowledge of God's mystery, which is Christ, 3 in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.” (Colossians 2:2-3)

 

CENTERING QUESTIONS

  • What is a word, phrase, thought, or image that jumps out to me?
  • How is my life touched by this word?
  • What does this passage teach me about God or Jesus?
  • How have I seen that be true in my own life?
  • How can I apply what I’ve read here?
  • How can I voice what I’ve read back to God as a prayer?

WEEK 4- FEBRUARY 26-MARCH 4

COLOSSIANS 2:8-23

8 See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ. 9 For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily, 10 and you have been filled in him, who is the head of all rule and authority. 11 In him also you were circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ, 12 having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith in the powerful working of God, who raised him from the dead. 13 And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, 14 by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross. 15 He disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in him.

16 Therefore let no one pass judgment on you in questions of food and drink, or with regard to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath. 17 These are a shadow of the things to come, but the substance belongs to Christ. 18 Let no one disqualify you, insisting on asceticism and worship of angels, going on in detail about visions, puffed up without reason by his sensuous mind, 19 and not holding fast to the Head, from whom the whole body, nourished and knit together through its joints and ligaments, grows with a growth that is from God.

20 If with Christ you died to the elemental spirits of the world, why, as if you were still alive in the world, do you submit to regulations— 21 “Do not handle, Do not taste, Do not touch” 22 (referring to things that all perish as they are used)—according to human precepts and teachings? 23 These have indeed an appearance of wisdom in promoting self-made religion and asceticism and severity to the body, but they are of no value in stopping the indulgence of the flesh.

MEMORY VERSE

“The substance belongs to Christ.” (Colossians 2:17)

CENTERING QUESTIONS

  • What is a word, phrase, thought, or image that jumps out to me?
  • How is my life touched by this word?
  • What does this passage teach me about God or Jesus?
  • How have I seen that be true in my own life?
  • How can I apply what I’ve read here?
  • How can I voice what I’ve read back to God as a prayer?

WEEK 5- MARCH 5-11

COLOSSIANS 3:5-11

5 Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. 6 On account of these the wrath of God is coming. 7 In these you too once walked, when you were living in them. 8 But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth. 9 Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices 10 and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator. 11 Here there is not Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free; but Christ is all, and in all.

 

MEMORY VERSE

“Here there is not Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free; but Christ is all, and in all.” (Colossians 3:5-11)

 

CENTERING QUESTIONS

  • What is a word, phrase, thought, or image that jumps out to me?
  • How is my life touched by this word?
  • What does this passage teach me about God or Jesus?
  • How have I seen that be true in my own life?
  • How can I apply what I’ve read here?
  • How can I voice what I’ve read back to God as a prayer?

THOUGHTS, REFLECTIONS, PRAYERS


WEEK 6- MARCH 12T-18

COLOSSIANS 3:12-17

12 Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, 13 bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. 14 And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. 15 And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. 16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. 17 And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

 

MEMORY VERSE

“And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” (Colossians 3:17)

 

CENTERING QUESTIONS

  • What is a word, phrase, thought, or image that jumps out to me?
  • How is my life touched by this word?
  • What does this passage teach me about God or Jesus?
  • How have I seen that be true in my own life?
  • How can I apply what I’ve read here?
  • How can I voice what I’ve read back to God as a prayer?WEEK 6

WEEK 7- MARCH 19-25

ROMANS 12:9-18 (Rise Richmond)

9 Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. 10 Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. 11 Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord. 12 Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. 13 Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality.

14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. 16 Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight. 17 Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. 18 If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.

 

MEMORY VERSE

“Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good.” (Romans 9:9)

 

CENTERING QUESTIONS

  • What is a word, phrase, thought, or image that jumps out to me?
  • How is my life touched by this word?
  • What does this passage teach me about God or Jesus?
  • How have I seen that be true in my own life?
  • How can I apply what I’ve read here?
  • How can I voice what I’ve read back to God as a prayer?

WEEK 8- MARCH 26-APRIL 1

COLOSSIANS 3:1-4 (HOLY WEEK)

If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. 3 For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.

 

MEMORY VERSE

“Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.” Colossians 3:2

 

CENTERING QUESTIONS

  • What is a word, phrase, thought, or image that jumps out to me?
  • How is my life touched by this word?
  • What does this passage teach me about God or Jesus?
  • How have I seen that be true in my own life?
  • How can I apply what I’ve read here?
  • How can I voice what I’ve read back to God as a prayer?