By: Brittany Fiscus
Colossians 3. 12-17
Reflection—v. 13, ‘bear with one another’
Bearing with someone can sound a little burdensome, something that you do only because you have to, but I believe the author of Colossians is pointing to something richer than merely tolerating each other. The phrase used for ‘bear with one another’ is used one other time in the New Testament, in Ephesians, when the community there was also encouraged to ‘bear with one another in love.’ When we ‘bear with one another in love’ we are present with them, we become their community, we share in their burdens, and ‘bear’ whatever that means. We do not just tolerate them; we love them and stand with them. The author gives us even more details on what we must do, saying that we must forgive each other if anyone has a complaint against another. That’s part of bearing with each other: we have to forgive each other and choose to be in community anyway. If we are to be a beloved community, we must learn to bear with one another in love, and we must learn to forgive one another.
Prayer God, help us to bear with one another, and forgive one another, with all the unending love and patience that you have for us, your beloved children.