Colossians 4:2 Devote yourselves to prayer, keeping alert in it with thanksgiving. 3 At the same time pray for us as well that God will open to us a door for the word, that we may declare the mystery of Christ, for which I am in prison, 4 so that I may reveal it clearly, as I should. 5 Conduct yourselves wisely toward outsiders, making the most of the time. 6 Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer everyone.
The apostle Paul is getting to the end of his letter. Three things jump out at me this morning.
First, in v.3 Paul asks the Christians at Colossae to pray that God might, “open to us a door for the word, that we may declare the mystery of Christ”. What was this “mystery of Christ”? Scholars aren’t in complete agreement on this, but I believe Paul was referring to the new covenant God made through Jesus Christ. It was no longer a covenant of the law (following the rules) but of grace. In other words, people no longer had to behave their way into relationship with God, but could receive that relationship as a gift through faith in Jesus Christ. The mystery also included the fact that Gentiles were invited into the covenant. It wasn’t just for the Jews, but for all people. That was a very radical notion in the ancient near East.
Secondly, I noticed in v.3 the words “us” and “we”. It wasn’t only Paul’s job to share the story of new life in Christ. Everyone on his team was expected to do the same. Then in v.5 he wrote “Conduct yourselves wisely toward outsiders (non-Christians), making the most of the time.” Now the commission to share good news extended beyond Paul and his team to the people of the church – all the people, not just the leaders.
Finally there is v.6 “Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt…” What the heck does that mean? From what I gather “seasoned with salt” was a way of describing speech that was lively and engaging. Then as now, people were more inclined to listen to someone whose speech was interesting and energetic rather than flat or boring.
Now understand that not all Christians are called to preach in a pulpit or other public venue, but everyone is expected to have a story of faith to tell others. My personal story in a nutshell is one of being a lost young man with little direction or purpose. Then God laid hold of me, turned me around, and set me on a path where I could be of use to the church and the world in the name of Jesus. It’s not what I expected from life, but I’ve never regretted it. If you want to hear the long version of my story message me and I’ll be glad to share it.
What’s your story? Are you prepared to share it when given the chance? Can you say it with passion, with purpose, “seasoned with salt”? It’s okay if your answer is no right now. But pray about this. I promise you this is a prayer the Lord will answer.
Lord Jesus you literally changed the world through your death and resurrection. By your grace we are saved from our sins and adopted as children of God into everlasting life. Help us to identify our personal story of faith. Empower us to share our story with others in a way that is engaging and purposeful – knowing that you are at work in us when we do so. We ask this in your holy name. Amen.