Colossians 3:12-14 – Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye. And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness. (KJV)
Matthew 10:16 – Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves; be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves. (KJV)
Several years ago, my eldest son participated in a secular film project which involved the making of a video montage based on the theme of diversity. As a Christian witness, my son wrote a poem inspired by Colossians 3:12-14 entitled, "Clothed With Virtue". Through his poem, he was able to share some of the spiritual qualities necessary in order to get along with people from a variety of backgrounds and different personalities.
The following lines of the poem express the work of God's Spirit in our lives:
- When clothed with unconditional love and acceptance,
Humility, kindness, gentleness, and patience;
On stormy waters the peaceful dove emerges
Bringing divine love which unifies, cleanses, and purges.
The dove has been a symbol of Christianity since its early stages, and has several representations. It depicts the presence of the Holy Spirit, who descended upon Jesus, as described in the Gospels. But the dove is also a symbol of peace and forgiveness, as it relates to the story of Noah near the end of the flood: "When the dove returned to him in the evening, there in its beak was a freshly plucked olive leaf!" (Genesis 8:11 NIV)
The dove is also depicted in the catacombs of Rome. It then became a symbol of grief and the martyrdom of those who, by the power of the Holy Spirit, endured to the end. Then, too, when in flight, the dove represents life and the hope of the resurrection.
This peaceful dove, the Holy Spirit, gentle but no less powerful, is able to produce the qualities mentioned in today's Scripture, if we will yield our lives to Him. Through the Spirit's power, we may be wise yet harmless. We are to be clothed not only with the garment of salvation but also with the garments of love and Christian service, as Jesus commands us: "Be dressed ready for service." (Luke 12:35 NIV) Then, we may be a light sent forth to shine in this lost and dark world.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, bless us with the fruit of Your Spirit, that we may be conformed to the image of Your Son. Guide us in the way of peace, and may those living in darkness see the light of Your salvation shining through us. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.