ISSL Reflections November 19 2023 Colossians 2:16–23 Post 1

As we turn to these few sentences to the Epistle to the disciples in Colossae, do you hear Paul tell them,

“Do Not submit to regulations.”

Take that waring from Paul and listen to him speak of “regulations” that are “simply human commands and teachings.”

What “regulations” does he identify in these paragraphs?

Colossians 2:16-23 (NRSVue)

Therefore, do not let anyone condemn you in matters of food or drink or of observing festivals, new moons, or Sabbaths. These are only a shadow of what is to come, but the body belongs to Christ. Do not let anyone disqualify you, insisting on self-abasement and worship of angels, initiatory visions, puffed up without cause by a human way of thinking, and not holding fast to the head, from whom the whole body, nourished and held together by its ligaments and tendons, grows with a growth that is from God.

If with Christ you died to the elemental principles of the world, why do you live as if you still belonged to the world? Why do you submit to regulations, “Do not handle! Do not taste! Do not touch!”? All these regulations refer to things that perish with use; they are simply human commands and teachings. These have indeed an appearance of wisdom in promoting self-imposed piety, humility, and severe treatment of the body, but they are of no value in checking self-indulgence.

What did you notice?

  • Food, drink
  • Festivals
  • Self-abasement
  • Worship of angels
  • Visions

Do you ever notice such “regulations” taking a priority in the life of disciples today?

What other “regulations … commands … teachings … ,” do you notice that take on an inflated importance in the life of discipleship today?

{ubi caritas et amor, Deus ibi est}

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