by Amy Kemp
Colossians 3:15 says, "Let your hearts fall under the rule of the Anointed's peace (the peace you were called to as one body), and be thankful." (The Voice). The Message version phrases it this way, "Let the peace of Christ keep you in tune with each other. None of this going off and doing your own thing. And cultivate thankfulness."
The combination of these two versions of the same verse profoundly spoke to me recently. Allow me to expound.
I found it a strange phrase, "Let your hearts fall." Most often "heart" and "fall" are combined in my head when a heart falls in love. When you have "fallen" for someone, your emotion takes over. It is as if you have no power to stop what feels right to your heart. You simply fall. The scripture here, though, implies that there is a conscious effort to "LET" the heart fall. You give the heart permission to be exposed and to be vulnerable for the reward on the other side. You let go, intentionally - with ALL of the forethought.
If it is an intentional, planned relinquishing of control, to whom or what are you releasing your heart? The answer: the peace of Christ. Well, that is quite the reward! Back in the 80s, when I was in high school and girls talked about boys, we might say, "She's falling for him." What if we brought that dated language from the 80s back and thought through this verse within that context. Do you see yourself "falling for peace?" Would you let your heart fall for the peace of Christ? Would you relinquish control for the return on the other side?
Let's go further. Where does that peace lead? Check out the parenthetical phrase from The Voice version of this text. It leads to unity - one body. If we let go and let God, the result is not just peace but unity - the quality that holds us together and keeps us in tune (see The Message version) with each other. A band, an orchestra, an ensemble, and a choir, even if they are on the same page of music, under the direction of the same conductor, and playing at the same tempo will fail at the task of making beautiful music if they are out of tune.
In just one sentence, there is so much discovery: Let go! Fall for peace! Embrace unity!
And, then, the kicker. . ."and cultivate thankfulness." I never considered myself much of a farm girl, because growing up, my dad owned only 80 acres. We had a four-bottom disc and a four-row planter. That's about one step up from a mule. But, I remember one implement piece in the shed known as the cultivator. The job of that piece of equipment was to bring to the surface the moisture that was beneath the hard, scorched, dry soil at the base of the plants. Cultivating a field meant breaking through the top-layer exterior to the moist, rich soil beneath. And, that was all in an effort to bring refreshment and needed moisture to the plants.
Walk through the phrase with me now, "Cultivate thankfulness." Work it up. Break through your scorched exterior and reach down deep for the moist dirt. Beneath the surface there is reason to be thankful, but if you don't work at it, it will never bring refreshment to your life, to your soul, to your being. It's there, though, and you've been commanded to reach for it and expose it.
Seriously, you have to look at scripture some days and ask yourself, "How have I missed this before?" Then, go to your neighbor and ask, "Did you know this was here?" Share this awesome word!
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