The past weekend, our family attended the Young Believers Overnight Retreat, planned and directed by some of the YB. Rogie didn’t get to attend the Bible Study, but my only role was to lead the main evening study on Colossians, a book that we’ve been reading during our weekly prayer chains.
The main theme that night was sacrifice, observing and meditating on Paul’s words "Remember my chains" in chapter 4 and, "I am glad when I suffer for you in my body, for I am participating in the sufferings of Christ that continue for his body, the church" in chapter 1:24.
We also looked into the case story of sacrifice found in Genesis, between the offerings of Cain and Abel, to clearly define what a real "sacrifice" is, and the difference of being involved to being committed. Most times, our gestures of sacrifices come with complaining because we fail to truly understand that a sacrifice is not bred from our convenience. A sacrifice is only a sacrifice when it does hurt and take from us, that we cannot give it. And yet, somehow in our short giving, we still complain, thinking we have done a honorable service, and wondering why it’s not an acceptable offering.
But in the case of Paul, who rejoices in suffering, a seeming contradiction of words and emotions, corresponds to the Colossians, saying that he is "glad" suffering for them because he is not just involved in Christ’s continued work for the church, but that he has set his total life for that purpose. He has not set aside a Sunday; he has set aside the end of his days…