This Week’s Ref-lectionary (6/16-6/22)

Brothers and Sisters,
We are continuing our Summer worship/study series looking for lessons for our church that might come from the early church in Colossae.

Colossae was a city of southwestern Phrygia in Asia Minor, not far from the rivers Lycos and Meander.  For those who do not know where that is, think southwestern Turkey, but inland in a river valley.  In antiquity, Colossae was on the trade route from Ephesus to the Euphrates River heading east and was a very important city.  During the time of the Roman Empire, the road system changed and the neighboring cities of Laodicea and Hierapolis became more important.  Colossae was famous for its fine wool and was a “free” city under Roman rule.  There is not a lot more that is known about Colossae because the city was destroyed by an earthquake around 60 AD and was not rebuilt by Rome in favor of its sister cities and because the inhabitants who did remain moved into those cities when the area was overrun by repeated invasions in the 7th and 8th centuries.  The city ruins have never been excavated.

It is not recorded whether Paul every visited Colossae when he wrote to those communities.   Epaphras is credited as the founder of the Colossian church (Colossians 1:7; 4:12).

Texts to read as a way of preparing for this week are:

Colossians 2:6-10, 16-23
Philemon 1-3, 10-20
John 14:5-11

Like our society, Colossae was very pluralistic.  Then, as now, making an exclusive claim for Christianity can be deeply uncomfortable.  How can Christians today remain faithfully Christ-centered in the midst of competing claims of truth?  These are all good questions for us this week.

As you go through the week studying and praying, remember all those who are travelling at this time and the children who are gathering here and in other camps.   Pray for all those who are gathered for Peace and Carrots camp this week, especially.



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