When Paul wrote this letter to the Christians in Colossae he had never met any of them. Well, none of them except Philemon. It was thru Philemon and Epaphrus that Paul became familiar with the Colossians. Philemon hosted gatherings in his home for the Christians in Colossae. Epaphrus had gone to Colossae to share the gospel after he had learned and grown in his faith thru the witness of Paul.
While I don't know for sure, I can picture Philemon and Epaphrus sharing with Paul about the Christians of Colossae. Their faith in God, their lives, their struggles, their challenges, and their love for each other. As Paul learned more and more about these people he grew to love them, as well. As he shares in these first few scriptures of this letter, he prays for them without ceasing. He wishes them grace and peace -- not just any kind of grace, but grace that refers to God's unmerited favor upon them.
Have you ever loved someone you never met? I have on a few occasions -- persons I knew thru my parents, my sisters, my friends. Over time, they have become special to me and I think of them and pray for them. Because they are important to my loved ones, they are important to me.
But, lets expand that a bit. How about fellows brothers and sisters in Christ that we've never met, and maybe we don't even have any type of connection to them. EXCEPT -- how about the connection we share as believers? I think Paul shares some words and thoughts here that we can all apply to our lives. Love for our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. We may never meet many of them his side of heaven, but we share a common bond that is stronger than anything here on earth. We have the same love for God, we share similar struggles, similar desires and so much more.
Let us consider today keeping all our brothers and sisters in Christ in our prayers and in our hearts -- whether we know them or not. Let us consider praying for them and loving them and looking forward to the day we can all meet in our heavenly home.