“Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth” (Colossians 3:2).
If nothing else the past year has shown us that life can be unpredictable. I’m sure you’ve had the experience of watching programmes on television which were filmed prior to the pandemic, and been struck by how odd it looks to see people shaking hands of hugging. Look at those crowds in early 2020, milling about not knowing what was over the horizon. Certainties have been shown to be anything but certain!
This verse, tucked away in the Apostle Paul’s letter to the Colossians, makes an important point in times like these. If our minds are set on “things that are above” we have some security when the “things that are on earth” become unstable. The woman abseiling down a cliff needn’t worry how stable the surface is as long as her rope is securely tied at the summit. A heavenly anchor will keep us standing when the floor crumbles.
The timescale of Christianity is eternal, and its scope is cosmic. Rather than simply dealing with the present, it puts today into the context of eternity. It raises us up so as to give a better perspective and a broader view. The chapter of our life is set into a larger book, and as a result takes on a richer meaning.
I have often been struck by those tales of Christians who cheerfully faced imprisonment or worse for their faith. How could they endure such things? What gave them the strength and resolve to carry on? The answer is all to do with where they set their minds.
Pictured above is the core of the M51 Galaxy taken by the Hubble Space Telescope