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LETTERS OF ST. PAUL: Colossians

Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth, for you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life is revealed, then you also will be revealed with him in glory.
Colossians 3: 2-4

Colossians reminds us that Christ is above all else and that we who are Christians belong to Him and not to this world. It inspires us to keep our focus on “things above” that last forever and to neither be distracted nor weighed down by some of the petty and superficial things in this world.

Touched by an angel? The letter to the Colossians was written while Paul was a prisoner in Rome, most likely by a follower or colleague of Paul. The urgency of this letter was because people in the city of Colossae (in Asia Minor) were trying to follow the Christian faith but had many distractions in their culture. Apart from the usual things that distract human beings, the folks in Colossae were confused with teachings about celestial persons with astral powers, of which Jesus was said to be one, a sort of board of directors of angelic beings. They were also being encouraged to augment their Christian faith with strict obedience to rules about diet and religious observance from the Old Testament. And, because life was cozy in Colossae (there was peace and some prosperity), they had become somewhat complacent or inattentive in spiritual matters.

So imagine yourself caught up in the habit of looking to angel powers, observing dietary and other religious observances, but not tending to your soul, your spiritual life, your relationship with God. For this reason, the letter to the Colossians was written.

The author of Colossians does not enter into the debate on angels. Instead, he attests to the pre-eminence of Christ over angels and other celestial powers (Chapters 1-3). He goes on to warn against the harm of false teaching (2: 3-23) and how Christians must be careful about who they listen to, what kind of advice they seek (truly a reminder for all times!). Finally, Colossians lays out a sort of blueprint of how to live an ideal Christian life in this world (Chapters 3 & 4).

Colossians is one of the deutero-Pauline letters.

 
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