“For I want you to know what a great conflict I have for you and those in Laodicea, and for as many as have not seen my face in the flesh, that their hearts may be encouraged, being knit together in love, and attaining to all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the knowledge of the mystery of God, both of the Father and of Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. Now this I say lest anyone should deceive you with persuasive words. For though I am absent in the flesh, yet I am with you in spirit, rejoicing to see your good order and the steadfastness of your faith in Christ.” (Col 2: 1-5)
How important are these words, especially this year of a divisive pandemic and a divisive election, when we are often connected with people, without actually seeing their “face in the flesh.” What is it, I’m asking myself, that keeps us connected, – truly connected, in God’s sense? Is it our “persuasive words,” which we exchange with (usually like-minded) people on social media?
No, the Apostle explains above. “Persuasive words” alone can be “deceiving.” The “thing” that makes our hearts “knit together” is “love,” and other gifts of the Holy Spirit, like “the full assurance of understanding” and “the knowledge of the mystery of God.” It is the Spirit Who makes the Apostle present to his far-away flock, as he says: “Yet I am with you in spirit…”
Today let me remember, Who it is that provides me with true connectivity with others. Let me re-connect with God, in His grace, in a bit of prayer, so He remains in the picture of all my relationships, including long-distance, online ones. Lord, come and abide in us, both on and off-line, lest we be deceived with our “persuasive words” alone.