Paul‘s epistles were written, in the main, from and to situations of lockdown. For this reason, they take on new resonance in the midst of our current pandemic.
These words from Colossians are just one example:
“May you be made strong with all the strength that comes from his glorious power, and may you be prepared to endure everything with patience, while joyfully giving thanks to the Father” (Col 1.11-12).
We can apply the exhortation to ‘endure everything with patience’ whenever the deprivations imposed on us to limit the risk of contagion start to feel onerous.
Paul’s words are very apt for this season of Easter, for the ‘glorious power’ he refers to is the power of the resurrection.
The resurrection of Christ is not just an historical event. Nor is it merely a doctrine. The radical message of the New Testament –for which there is no precedent in earlier writings – is that this resurrection means that Christ’s followers will likewise rise from the dead and that they will be filled in the here-and-now with the power of the resurrection.
Three weeks ago, a friend of mine narrowly escaped death from coronavirus. Two weeks ago, the father of a friend died from it. Last week another friend (who was also a friend of Faith in Business) lost his fight against it, leaving behind a lovely wife and three young children.
As all this has happened in the wake of losing my mother to cancer four weeks ago, I don’t think I’ve ever appreciated the good news of Easter as much as I do now. While it’s never been such a sad Easter, it’s never been so joyful. It’s a joy born not from things going well, but from the patience and thankfulness that Paul speaks of in this verse. It’s a mark, he encourages me to believe, of Christ’s glorious power at work in me.
However your circumstances at work or at home – or at work in the home – may be trying your patience, may that joy be yours today.