Brothers and sisters: Put on, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience, bearing with one another and forgiving one another, if one has a grievance against another; as the Lord has forgiven you, so must you also do. And over all these put on love, that is, the bond of perfection. And let the peace of Christ control your hearts, the peace into which you were also called in one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, as in all wisdom you teach and admonish one another, singing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or in deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. Colossians 3:12-17
Hands down this is the best Scripture passage for me to read before leaving the house in the morning. It just whips me right into shape for how to live every moment of my day. I am reminded of the fruit of the Spirit – love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. If we are living in the Spirit, if we are spending time daily with God, if we have given our lives to follow Him, these attributes should flow out of us naturally. But even then, a little reminder in the morning doesn’t hurt!
This Scripture reading is perfect for our celebration of the Holy Family. God has strategically placed us in families to help us become holy. But families can be exactly what make us feel like we’ve taken a U-turn on our path to holiness. Our worst side often comes out with our families. They know how to get under our skin. We revert back to our immature selves. We have very little patience. And then our actions within family roles can seem so undignified. Laundry. Dishes. Folding underwear. Peeling potatoes. It’s hard to remember to “do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father,” when you’re scrubbing toothpaste out of the sink.
So how do we do everything in His glory? I’m reminded of the cute Disney song, “Just whistle while you work…” St. Paul tells us in his letter to the Colossians. “Let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly…singing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God.” Time to fold laundry? Turn on some worship music! Sing your favorite hymn as you’re waiting in the pick up line for your kids. Hum a calming hymn to yourself as you feel your temper rising against that family member who drives you crazy. Remind yourself that God is helping you work out your own holiness in this capacity, in your specific role in your family, surrounded by people who love you into holiness and tempt you out of it at the same time.
If family is a distant dream for you right now, remember that this passage applies in all aspects of our lives. Jesus makes it clear that our brothers and sisters are the Christians surrounding us. He repeatedly pushes our boundaries from the immediate family to the global Church as our family. If someone in our Church family has hurt us, we are obligated to forgive them as God has forgiven us. We are to speak to one another in gentleness, humility, kindness, and compassion. And maybe we don’t need to remember to fold clothes in His glory, but maybe we need to remember to manage our workers in His glory, format the spreadsheet in His glory, and answer the phone in His glory.
Whatever we do, in word or in deed, we do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus.