“Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts.” – Colossians 3.16From David King:
In the verse above it talks about how the word* of Christ will dwell among us. The word ‘you’ in the original Greek is plural. So Paul here means how the word of Jesus can fill our church community.
Imagine everyone in our church family. Now imagine pipes joining everyone to everyone else. Each pipe is our communication. Backwards and forwards flow words, ideas, news, joys and sorrows. Paul is praying that the word of Christ should be filling those pipes – that if someone were to tap into any one of those pipes and syphon off some of the water – they would find the word of Christ.
How would this happen? In many ways, but Paul highlights in particular psalms, hymns and spiritual songs.
One of the wonders of St Patrick’s is David – not me(!), but another member of our family who has an encyclopaedic knowledge of old, Methodist hymns. Every so often he blesses me with a hand written hymn. I want to finish this Blog with the latest one he sent me. It’s meaty stuff, but spiritually very nourishing.
Omnipotent Lord, my Saviour and King,
Thy succour afford, Thy righteousness bring:
Thy promises bind Thee compassion to have;
Now, now let me find Thee almighty to save.
Rejoicing in hope, and patient in grief,
To Thee I look up for certain relief;
I fear no denial, no danger I fear,
Nor start from the trial, while Jesus is near.
I every hour in jeopardy stand;
But Thou art my power, and holdest my hand:
While yet I am calling, Thy succour I feel;
It saves me from falling, or plucks me from hell.
O who can explain this struggle for life,
This travail and pain, this trembling and strife!
Plague, earthquake, and famine, and tumult, and war,
The wonderful coming of Jesus declare!
Yet God is above men, devils, and sin,
My Jesus’s love the battle shall win:
So terribly glorious His coming shall be,
His love all-victorious shall conquer for me.
He all shall break through; His truth and His grace
Shall bring me into the plentiful place,
Through much tribulation, through water and fire,
Through floods of temptation and flames of desire.
On Jesus, my power, till then I rely,
All evil before His presence shall fly;
When I have my Saviour, my sin shall depart,
And Jesus forever shall reign in my heart.
Charles Wesley 1707-88
*I don’t really understand the NIV’s decision to change their translation of the Greek word logos from “word” to “message”