2 For I want you to know how great a struggle I have for you and for those at Laodicea and for all who have not seen me face to face, 2 that their hearts may be encouraged, being knit together in love, to reach all the riches of full assurance of understanding and the knowledge of God's mystery, which is Christ, 3 in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. 4 I say this in order that no one may delude you with plausible arguments. 5 For though I am absent in body, yet I am with you in spirit, rejoicing to see your good order and the firmness of your faith in Christ.
During this past summer, the women’s committee met to plan for a new year of activities. As we studied the verses printed above, we took note of Paul’s struggle (see vs 1) concerning the believers in Colossae, the nature of his desire for them (verses 2, 3) and the source of his joy (verse 5). This passage revealed what was important to the apostle, and God used it to help us clarify our goals for future events for the women of our church. As a result, we planned monthly events that would focus on
* The Word of God and fellowship (encouragement and the “knitting” happen as we grow in our love for each other and for God’s Word, verse 2)
* Christ and the Gospel (God’s mystery and the only source of divine wisdom, verses 2-3)
* Strengthening our faith (Reaching “full assurance” and a “firm … faith in Christ”, verses 2, 5).
In September, our guest speaker, Wendy Merdian, shared how God drastically rescued and redirected her, a Tahoe girl, for His glory. Who else could redeem a life of pain and abuse, witchcraft and divorce into a life that displays the hope of the Gospel to those in Austria fleeing from communism and then to women in Jordan struggling with abuse and the emptiness of Islam? Wendy shared many of the “But God” moments of her life and helped us understand the plight of women in Muslim countries. Her story resonated with many of us, hopefully pushing us towards fuller assurance and a firmer faith.
Gwen Finch brought us back to the essentials in October. She reminded us of our need to be reading, pondering, and meditating on God’s Word on a regular basis, challenging us to be creative in the ways we go about daily spending time with God. We loved the cozy little area she recreated on stage with her grandma’s rocking chair, afghan, and lamp - a great visual for all of us of our need to establish helpful routines. With Angela Brown’s and Dorothy Hurt’s testimonies, we left the meeting encouraged and more closely knitted together in love.
The Camp fire tragedy changed everyone’s plans, including our November meeting. But then, the December brunch was an opportunity to focus on ministering to our sisters of the Paradise Evangelical Free Church. Isaiah 40 reminded us of God’s infinite power, wisdom and love. And so, with hearts encouraged by the truth of God’s word, we prayed for our sisters in need and planned a visible way to show them our support: a set of new towels (something practical) and a well-chosen passage of Scripture (something spiritually uplifting). The pictures display what we gathered for each one of them. I trust that as we were diving into God’s word together and praying, we were striving to make the goals of Colossians 2 a growing reality. And that continues to be our goal.
* January 25 is the next monthly women’s meeting. Will you join us that evening?
* We are on the brink of a new year. Do you have a Bible reading plan for 2019?
* Scripture memorization: do you have a goal, a schedule, a friend?
* How about a prayer partner?
Are Paul’s desires for the Colossians our desires, both for ourselves and for each other? Looking forward to striving together and to rejoicing with you in 2019. May God deepen our love for Him, His Word, and each other and “firm up” our faith in Christ.