For though I am absent in body, yet I am with you in spirit, and I rejoice to see your morale and the firmness of your faith in Christ. – Colossians 2:5 (Full text, Colossians 2: 1-5)
I love this passage, as to me, it is a strong reminder that none of us can go it alone, i.e. “Just me and Jesus.” No, says Paul. We are in this thing together.
Paul reminds the Colossians that although he is not physically with them, he is with them “in spirit.” This phrase seems to suggest that Paul views himself as connected with them by God’s in-dwelling Holy Spirit – “Christ in you” (Col. 1:27) – and that the Colossians are on his mind and in his heart despite his physical absence. This is not dissimilar to when our kids go off to college. We are always connected to them by our own familial in-dwellings, and certainly they are always on our minds and hearts.
Paul’s joyful hope, as it is ours with our children, is that they would have a firm faith in Christ and a strong morale, meaning a state of good order or discipline, particularly in their disciplined resistance to false teachings. (College campuses are filled with false “teachings”…)
This passage teaches us that you cannot really have assured understanding and wisdom– about life and certainly knowledge of Christ, apart from a loving union with Christ’s people. If we are to maintain a firm hold on the truth, we must gather together in our pursuit of Jesus.
Dear Heavenly Father, alone we are all vulnerable to stray from the truth, discouragement, and deceptive arguments and behavior. I pray that we would seek to never go it alone, but rather, to surround ourselves with Your people. May we seek out those who are alone and embrace them into the fold. Amen.