Choosing between Christmas and Easter

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Little Rock Connections: The Good News for Today
May 2017

Christ is our life

Romancing the Word

Colossians 3:1-17

Christ is our life

Macrina Wiederkehr, OSB

It is easy to just read the Scripture text and move right into the reflection given. Or, perhaps even, not to read the Scripture text at all. The intent of this column is for you to pray the assigned text using the Lectio Divina method before reading my reflection.

To pray the Scripture in the Lectio way is to romance the Word of God. 

  • Lean into the words and listen for the meaning to be revealed. 
  • Read slowly and be willing to wait. 
  • Ask questions that need not be answered. 
  • Above all, listen! 

Hopefully these steps will assist you in being able to be faithful to your new word to romance.

Prayerfully read Colossians 3:1-17

What does it mean to rise with Christ when you have not yet been in the tomb? And what does it mean to die and be hidden with Christ when you’re still alive? Since you have just prayed with this Scripture text perhaps you have already grappled with these questions.

These are baptismal images—enriching themes for our prayer. As the waters flow over us—as we are dipped into Christ, we die to that old self. Coming up out of the waters we become a new person in Christ. We rise with Christ and as we live our way more deeply into our baptized life we discover that Christ is our life. This is what Paul is saying to us, “Your baptism has to follow you through your life, or it is not going to be very effective.” Christ is your life! These words are reminiscent of Paul’s astounding proclamation in Philippians 1:21: For to me life is Christ and death is gain. Almost every time we sit down to pray, if we truly enter into our prayer, we die a little. Something falls away, and, although it feels like death, it is new life instead. 

Put to death, then, the parts of you that are earthly

For most of us, there will come a time in our lives when we take a penetrating look at ourselves and realize that this is not where we want to remain or who we want to be. That recognition is a moment of grace and that is the moment when our prayer begins to deepen. That’s when we begin to understand what Paul means when he suggests that if we have been raised with Christ we must set our hearts in a different direction. All those things we once allowed to control us have no place in our lives now: evil desires, greed, lying, hatred, lust, self-indulgence, excessive anger, et cetera.

Paul’s language suggests a stripping away, akin to taking off clothes that have become torn and tattered to make room for something new. It’s a kind of undressing that reminds me of a dear scene from C.S. Lewis’s Chronicles of Narnia. In the Voyage of the Dawn Treader we meet Eustice, a very rude and annoying little boy, whose unappealing traits makes for unpleasant company. Discovering a dragon’s den, Eustace greedily lies down on all the treasures in an ownership pose. He falls asleep only to discover upon awakening that he has turned into a dragon. Imprisoned in layers of dreadful dragon scales, for the first time in his life, he longs to be able to relate to others, to be kind and loving but he can’t get there. He is stuck. Then Aslan, the “Christ lion” appears. Through a loving encounter with Aslan the scales are removed and Eustace is free to live the life he really wants to live. 

That story rings true for me. Many of the enslavements that Paul mentions in our Scripture text are enemies in my own life. They seriously interfere with the graced living for which I long. That’s why my ears and heart open wide as I hear Paul telling us to change our clothing. 

Put on, then, as God’s chosen ones … a new kind of clothing

Paul addresses the Colossians, and all of us, as holy and beloved, chosen and called. We are to robe ourselves with the garments of grace-filled living. The description of our wardrobe is appealing and eye-catching. The person who lives in this household is adorned with kindness and compassion, patience and humility. Forgiveness lives here—mercy. And the summit of it all is love. 

This lovely image of risen life—a life hidden with Christ in God—may very well be the poultice that brings healing and hope to humankind.

Your next word to romance:  Proverbs 8:1-36

Macrina Wiederkehr, OSB, has honed her craft as a writer and retreat director during her years of monastic life at St. Scholastica Monastery in Fort Smith, Arkansas. Learn more about her books and retreat offerings at her website:

This month we will be exhibiting and participating in the annual gathering of the National Conference of Catechetical Leadership. If you plan to be in Dallas May 22-25, 2017 for “Transformative Leadership” we’ll see you there. Come by and tell us what you need and how we can be of help to you in your ministry.

Summer is the perfect time to evaluate what you have been doing in your faith community to help people encounter Christ in Scripture.  Download pages 87-88 from our Coordinator’s Manual to get some practical ideas.

We’d love to hear from you about your experiences using Little Rock Scripture Study or Alive in the Word. Visit our Facebook page to post your comments or contact us directly by email at

For more information about workshops, Little Rock Connections, or to offer suggestions, or submit items, please contact:
Little Rock Scripture Study
PO Box 7565
Little Rock, AR 72217

Little Rock Scripture Study

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