Raised with Christ (April 8)

Colossians 3:1-11

Comment


Definitions: Mercer’s Dictionary of the Bible and Harper Collins Bible Dictionary (in the library) can help with the list of earthly behaviors and attitudes we are to put off.

Reading the Scripture

Here are some ways you might read the scripture or tell the story:

•    Lectio Divina is a prayerful reading of scripture. The passages in this unit might lend themselves well to this kind of reflective reading. See the attachment to the first lesson for a guide to Lectio Divina.

•    Audio:
o    The Bible Experience: The Complete Bible (“presented by a stellar ensemble of today’s top-name actors, musicians, clergy, directors, and award-winning producers.” Available from Keith).
o    Faith Comes by Hearing: You’ve Got the Time (Dramatized New Testament we used a few years ago during Lent. Available in the church office.)

Teaching Suggestions

•    Compare the movement in this passage to Philippians 2. In Philippians 2, Christ comes down to us then is taken back up to God. In Colossians 3, Jesus raises us back up with him. Philippians 2 illustrates Christ’s movement. Colossians 3 illustrates the Christians’ movement toward God.

•    The Ties that Still Divide: The Formations Teaching Guide (p. 80) suggests making lists of the ways people still divide themselves: sex, race, ethnicity, education, income, etc. Colossians 3 says, “there is no longer Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave and free” (verse 11). Use the census data for Boyle County and Kentucky, at the end of this session, to rewrite verse eleven for our community and state. What groups would be included? What are the implications of this verse for our church given what you see in the demographic data? What can our church do to bridge the divide among groups? Plan one specific action to reach out to a group in Danville that would be considered different than that of your class.

•    Testimonies: This lesson, about removing earthly practices and clothing yourself with the new self, is a good opportunity for your class members to share testimonies of how their lives have been changed by Christ.
o    Ask: What is your testimony of how you became a Christian? What was your life like before you became a Christian? How was your life changed by a relationship with Christ?
o    We would like to learn about these stories. Please let us know of members with stories/testimonies that should be shared with the congregation.
o    Next week’s lesson will provide another good opportunity for sharing testimonies, so you might suggest any who didn’t share this week to be thinking about their testimonies for next week.

•    Easter Clothes: This passage is about putting on new clothes spiritually. Many of your class members will be wearing new clothes (or best clothes) on Easter Sunday. Is there an illustration or a passing reference there?

•    Princess Diaries Video Clip (see below): A plain clumsy girl discovers that she is really a princess.
o    Discussion: Now that you know your true identity as a Christian, raised with Christ, how do you think and behave? What is your new attitude?

Resources

•    These dictionaries in the library can help with the list of earthly behaviors and attitudes we are to put off.
o    Mercer Dictionary of the Bible (Mercer University Press, 1990)
o    Harper Collins Bible Dictionary, Revised and Updated (Harper & Row, 2011)
o    The Interpreters Dictionary of the Bible, Five Volume Set (Abingdon, 1976)

•    For additional commentary on the text, see these commentaries in our library:
o    Mercer Commentary on the Bible (Mercer University Press, 1995)
o    Harper’s Bible Commentary (Harper & Row, 1988)