Seek the Things Above
Open Your Bible
Colossians 3:1-17, Ephesians 4:17-32, Leviticus 20:26, Psalm 1:1-6
Just over a year ago, my Grandma Marlene passed away. The grief I experienced was intense because she was so important to me. She was so fun, kind, and gracious. I often look back on her life as if she was a loving, whimsical sort of superhero.
But I knew her well enough to know she was just a person. She had flaws. She made mistakes. And yet, I don’t think about them when I remember her. How did she do that? How was she able to leave such a beautiful mark on this world when she was just a human like the rest of us?
I think the answer to my question lies within the passages we’re looking at today. When I think of Grandma Marlene, I think of Colossians 3, because that’s how she lived her life. She set her mind on eternity. For decades, that was clear. And because of that, do you know what I remember most about her? How happy she was. I loved being around her because she was Psalm 1-level happy. A fruit-filled tree planted by the water. And, she loved me. What a combo.
When my grandma was ten years old, her aunt led her to Jesus and she believed Jesus was the Son of God, risen from the dead. Her faith in His resurrection gave her new eyes for the world. She didn’t set her mind on what was temporary, painful, and ever-changing, but rather on what is eternal, steadfast, and true.
“How happy” are those of us who have handed over our selfishness, those of us who have “put away” the things that only harm us. Being a “new man” isn’t about being shiny and impressive and memorable (Colossians 3:1–11). It’s living in light of the resurrection of Jesus.
He rose from the dead, and so can we. He rose, and so did Grandma’s hope. She was full of hope and life. Her joy in this broken world didn’t make sense. Her love was bottomless. And knowing her changed my life. Knowing her—being loved by her—helped me know and understand the love of the living, resurrected Jesus.
If we strive to be Grandma Marlenes so our grandkids will admire us like we’re folklore, we won’t succeed. Grandma Marlene was not special because she put on an A+ life performance, but because she was like a tree planted by living water. She pursued love and righteousness by pursuing Jesus. May we, too, set our sights on Him.