In his non-scholarly commentary on the Prison Letters (Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, and Philemon), N.T. Wright describes the catalogue of virtues in Colossians 3.12-17 which Christians are to clothe themselves in as the “acid test” of our faith in Christ (Wright, The Prison Letters, 180). Indeed they are. Though our works don’t save us, they are a demonstration of our faith. Without such works, our faith (if we can even call it that) is nothing more than cheap talk.
I’m thankful for a recent demonstration of such genuine faith. As many of you know, while Hurricane Irene landed on shore as a weak category 1 hurricane, it has left a lot of damage due to flooding which has left many people in need. Last Friday, Churches of Christ Disaster Relief showed up at the Echo Lake Church of Christ in Westfield, New Jersey (where my friend Brian Nicklaus preaches) with semi-truck full of goods for those in need. You can read more about it on this Westfield Patch article.
The Churches of Christ Disaster Relief is a non-profit ministry headquartered in Nashville, Tennessee that is supported by many congregations of the Churches of Christ. There have been times on this blog where I have been critical of some views traditionally held by the Churches of Christ. But this is one of the things done well. Though all the glory belongs to God, I want to express my gratitude for this needed ministry that is supported by the Churches of Christ. As a group of autonomous churches having no official leadership beyond each local congregation, it is a wonderful thing to have such collaboration in support this ministry (and many more).
Thanks to the folks who work at the Churches of Christ Disaster relief and thanks to all the many volunteers, both in Nashville and at the many disaster sights, who help demonstrate the inbreaking of God’s kingdom in the midst of terrible disasters and tragedies.