As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, continue
to live your lives in him,  rooted and built up in him and
established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in
 See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and
empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental
spirits of the universe, and not according to Christ.  For in him
the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily,  and you have come to
fullness in him, who is the head of every ruler and authority.  In
him also you were circumcised with a spiritual circumcision, by
putting off the body of the flesh in the circumcision of Christ; 
when you were buried with him in baptism, you were also raised with
him through faith in the power of God, who raised him from the dead.
Happy New Year, Friends!
A time of new beginnings is upon us again. I love getting out a new calendar: a fresh, blank slate for the new year. Yet as I sit and contemplate where to begin filling up the calendar, I am a bit overwhelmed. My first thoughts go to those things that must be done, work, school, carpools, bill cycles, deadlines. Wait! Stop! No! I don’t want to do it the same way this year. This is a year of possibilities, a year of opportunities!
This is where I find myself falling in step with the letter to the Colossians.  See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the universe, and not according to Christ. I have to ask myself, “Why am I putting these things on the calendar? Is this something that has hold of me? Or do I choose to set the task?”
What do I know? I know that Christ is the ruler of my life, Christ who is the head of every ruler and authority. So before I shall enter the task, I shall consider , “How will this be in Christ?”
Imagine what a calendar might look like with each date filled intentionally in Christ! I think it might look a bit like…, well…, a blank calendar. A blank day on my calendar means it is open. I am free! I am free to be available for God’s purposes, a bit like giving someone a blank check. It sounds outrageous, doesn’t it! Imagine how we might be astonished at the amazing works God has planned for us. And in freedom, we can actually hear and respond.
I pray that in the coming days and months in this the year 2011 I might be able to begin each day with the freedom to allow God’s work to be the most important work in my day. I pray that the vision of a blank calendar will remind me that God’s plan is the priority. I pray that in Christ the must-dos will be pleasing to God.
I know that in Christ the year will be more peaceful. I know that in Christ the year will be more loving. I know that in Christ the year will be less organized and I will have less control. I know that in the midst of less organization and less control I will be astonished by God’s goodness and mercy.
May you be astonished by God’s goodness and mercy in the coming year!