by the Rev. Andrew Kuyvenhoven
The resurrection of Jesus Christ is the beginning of a new life for all believers. It's also the pledge of our resurrection (1 Cor. 15). The study of Colossians is part of this month's meditations on the meaning of the resurrection.
Colossians 3:18–4: 1
Wives,...husbands,...children,...fathers,...slaves,...masters,... you know that you also have a Master in heaven (Col. 4:1).
This passage presents rules for behavior in Christian households at the time of the New Testament. Households have changed since those days. For one thing, slavery no longer exists, thank God.
Rules for Christian behavior in the New Testament are conditioned by the time in which they were given. They are time-conditioned but not time-bound. The same Word must be heard by Christian communities of all times.
The key truth in this passage is that we all have a Master in heaven to whom we are accountable for our relationships on earth. Our relationship with the Lord governs our relationships with each other.
That's also how this chapter started: "Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things" (vv. 1-2).
At the close of the chapter we understand better what Paul means by "setting our minds on things above." He does not mean we should think so much of heaven that we are no good on earth. He means instead that our Master in heaven now rules our lives below.
Resurrection power gives ordinary fathers, mothers, and children renewed and restored relationships. And it gives us the ability to perform ordinary work in Christ's eternal light.