Colossians 3:17 (NKJV)
17And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.
Last week we considered Paul’s admonition in Colossians 3:16 that we “let the word of Christ dwell in us richly, teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs.” Today we consider his admonition in the verse immediately following that we do all in the name of our Lord Jesus. How can we practice this as the people of God?
One of the ways that we attempt to do so is by utilizing the Church calendar to organize our year. Our songs, our Scripture readings, our confessions of sin, our meditations, and even sometimes our sermons are geared to the Church Calendar. And one of the great advantages of doing this is that the Church calendar explicitly places Christ’s Person and Work at the center of the year. It orients our calendar around Christ: Advent – awaiting His birth; Christmas – celebrating His birth; Epiphany – celebrating His revelation as Messiah to the Magi and in His baptism; Lent – remembering His suffering on our behalf; Passion week – remembering His final week of challenge, betrayal, death, burial, and resurrection; Ascension – celebrating His enthronement at God’s right hand as King of kings and Lord of lords; Pentecost – celebrating the outpouring of the Spirit by our Risen and Exalted Lord; between Pentecost and Advent – celebrating Christ’s work, by the power of His Spirit, throughout church history. The Church Calendar puts the Person and Work of Christ at the center of our lives, year after year.
So why is this valuable? Well note Paul’s command today: So whatever you do in word or deed – whether eating or drinking or sleeping or waking; whether living in the winter or summer; in the fall or the spring – do all in the Name of the Lord Jesus – to honor Him and to glorify Him – giving thanks to God the Father through Him – recognizing that all the gifts we enjoy all year long come from His loving hand. The Church Calendar puts Jesus exactly where He belongs – at the center of our Church life, at the center of our calendar, at the center of our celebrations and at the center of our worship. And this, of course, reminds each of us to put Jesus at the center of our own life as well.
But often we are consumed with other things. We push Jesus to the periphery; oh, we’ll give Him a bit of attention on Sunday but the rest of the week? That’s ours. But Jesus demands all our time – each day, each hour, each minute, each second. He is the Sovereign Lord and all we are and do is to be offered up in praise and thanks to the Father through Him.
So what of you? Has Christ been at the center of your life this week or have you put your own self at the center of your calendar? Singles, have you displayed Christ this week, manifesting His character in your life and speaking His praises with your lips, living a life of integrity, purity, and honor? Husbands and fathers, have you led your family to Christ this week, worshiping and praying and speaking of Christ’s work in your home? Wives and mothers, have you modeled Christ this week, laying down your own life for the lives of your loved ones? Children, have you followed Christ this week, obeying your parents even as Christ obeyed His?
Reminded this morning that whatever we do, in word or in deed, is to be done in the Name of Christ to the glory and praise of God, let us confess that we often do things and speak things in our own name, for our own glory.