July 01, 2008

Let's Get Vertical

Colossians 2:1-7

Just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him …
Colossians 2:6


This month we will be reflecting on “vertical habits.” Just as young children need to learn how to say things like “Please” and “Thank you,” we need to practice habits that characterize a healthy relationship with God. This means telling God things like “I love you,” “I'm sorry,” and “I promise.” Much of this takes place when we gather for worship in church, but each day also provides us with many opportunities to enjoy fellowship with God. One of the things we notice when we practice spiritual disciplines like prayer and Bible reading is that the lines of communication between us and God often change. Sometimes we speak to God, and other times we sense God speaking to us. Still other times we feel our relationship with God spilling over to affect the way we look at the world around us. The image of a plant in today's Scripture reading portrays our relationship with God beautifully: it consists of roots that reach down, strength that builds up, and gratitude that flows out. And the good news is that all of this is God's work. Our life in Christ is a gift, not something we earn. This gives us all the more reason to cultivate healthy vertical habits. Such habits can provide us with fresh opportunities to receive the gifts that God never tires of giving.

Thank you, Lord, for giving us new life through Jesus Christ, your Son. Help our faith to grow every day so that we can love you more and serve others better. Amen.

About the author — Peter Hoytema

Peter Hoytema has been a pastor for nearly 30 years and has served congregations in Ontario and New Jersey. He is currently the pastor of a congregation in Strathroy, Ontario. He is a graduate of Calvin Theological Seminary and San Francisco Theological Seminary. He and his wife, Grace, are the parents of four adult children.

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