In chapter 4, Paul sends his final greetings and instructions to the church in Colossae. Though he was a man in chains, his heart and the heart of his fellow-workers comes through. His final benediction is one of grace. May the grace of the living God, who has made us alive with him, who has made available to us his wisdom in Jesus Christ, and who invites us to transformational growth and maturity be with us all.
Lately I’ve been thinking about what it means to be a kid again. What it means to look at adversity and still have joy. I remember a few specific times in my life that despite the pain I was going through, I was able to see fun. I remember biking by myself up and down a pathway behind my house when I lived in Douglas Glen. I was only allowed to go so far, but I went up and down that pathway so many times. A little bit further down that pathway was where my grandmother lived. When I was old enough and was allowed to go that far down the path, I would often just bike to Grandma’s. Those moments of biking down that path were so freeing. I have nothing but good memories of that.
I see Paul’s encouraging letter to the Colossians. He is asking for prayer, he is asking us to have conversations that are full of grace, seasoned with salt. Seasoned in a way that the conversations taste good. That they’re worth something. That they change things and people. He is asking us to be encouraging, because he is also encouraging despite his chains.
For me, my chains seem to be adulthood. Responsibilities and the constant thought to grow up. I look back at my childhood and miss it so much. But despite these restraining chains, I still can spread joy. I can still be a child in some aspects. I can still go for a bike ride down that path. I can still be free, even though I really am an adult now. I don’t know if that made sense to you. But I know for me, at least I can be free to spread joy, peace and grace, no matter what limitation I have on. Even if it is a slightly older body or chains holding me down.