While a student at U. Mass in the 70’s, I quickly learned from Bible friends, that memorizing Scripture was a great way to grow in Christ.
I started with a few verses, then, after realizing how helpful it was, I tackled all of Colossians 3.
To this day, when I hear it read, like at today’s Liturgy, it brings a smile.
Much of what we deal with as Conservatives, opposing Liberal relativism and race baiting, is paralleled there.
If you were raised with Christ, seek what is above,
where Christ is seated at the right hand of God.
Think of what is above, not of what is on earth.
For you have died,
and your life is hidden with Christ in God.
When Christ your life appears,
then you too will appear with him in glory.
Put to death, then, the parts of you that are earthly:
immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire,
and the greed that is idolatry.
Stop lying to one another,
since you have taken off the old self with its practices
and have put on the new self,
which is being renewed, for knowledge,
in the image of its creator.
Here there is not Greek and Jew,
circumcision and uncircumcision,
barbarian, Scythian, slave, free;
but Christ is all and in all.
The world says we must strive for equality on earth, to include the forced redistribution of wealth.
Colossians says the opposite.
When Paul speaks of the Greek and the Jew, he’s referring to two different races, but his emphasis is on faith vs. paganism, not color/culture opposing each other.
In Christ, earthly things are already dead/meaningless.
Our differences are washed away, not by what we do, but by what Christ has already done.
We become equals only in that we’ve already died to our old selves and been risen together with Christ.
Think of it this way.
All of us are different kinds of flowers, yet, if we don’t turn out seeds, we vanish forever and cannot live again.
That seed is our faith, that life again is above, with God, for eternity.
Race/social justice, has nothing to do with our eternity.
Yet it has much to do with blinding us from what really matters.