“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved,
clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.
Bear with each other and forgive one another.”
In Galatians 5 Paul talks about the fruit of the Spirit, and in Ephesians 6 about putting on the whole armour of God – physical manifestations of our faith, ways in which others should see God in us, should know that we are Christians.
In Colossians he encourages us to be clothed in compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience – born of the fruit of the spirit mentioned in Galatians. As Christians these are what people should see in us – we should be compassionate, kind, humble, gentle and patient, but also, we should be forgiving. I particularly like the phrase ‘bear with each other’: the idea of putting up with each other or making allowances for each other, the idea that we won’t always get it right, and neither will others, but we should bear with each other, even when we get it wrong, be patient and forgiving.
One hymn that speaks of us working and living the Christian life together is ‘Summoned by the God who made us’ by Delores Dufner (Singing the Faith 689), which reminds us that we all bring different things to the table, but we are all one family in Christ.
In our living you ask us to be more like you:
full of compassion for those around us;
kind and gentle with others and with the whole of creation;
humble in the way we live our lives.
We ask for your help. Help us to be patient;
Help us to bear with one another, especially when we find it most difficult;
Help us to forgive each other as you have forgiven us, freely and without condition.
We ask our prayers in the name of Jesus,
our humble, gentle, patient, kind, compassionate and forgiving friend.