Put to death, therefore, whatever in you is earthly: fornication, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed (which is idolatry). On account of these the wrath of God is coming on those who are disobedient. These are the ways you also once followed, when you were living that life. But now you must get rid of all such things—anger, wrath, malice, slander, and abusive language from your mouth. Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have stripped off the old self with its practices and have clothed yourselves with the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge according to the image of its creator. In that renewal there is no longer Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave and free; but Christ is all and in all!
Reflection by Janet Derby
Autumn has always been one of my favorite seasons. There are probably a lot of reasons for this – it means my birthday is coming (which was much more exciting when I was young than it is now). It also means that cooler weather will arrive, which to me is a real blessing. It also meant as a child, and to some extent still means, that school is starting back up. For me, even more than New Year’s, it means a fresh start – new clothes, new situations, clean slates.
As I read this Scripture, my first reaction was that the directives in it are rather daunting. Really? Get rid of all my anger, malice, slander, abusive language, and greed and lies? I was ready to admit defeat before I began. Then, the thought came to me – it’s a new year, and we can renew our lives. It doesn’t mean I will achieve ridding myself of all those things (I can guarantee that it won’t), but I can clothe myself in a new self. Perhaps that means tackling just one aspect of life that needs to change, or committing to attending Sunday school, or letting go of a past resentment. With God’s grace, we can make a new start.
Creating and Recreating God, Thank you for allowing us to start anew at any time. Help me to see what I can do to put away my old self and become the person you would have me be. Amen.