By Dennis Fisher
I . . . fill up in my flesh what is lacking in the afflictions of Christ. —Colossians 1:24
Of all Shakespeare’s great plays,Henry V may rank as the most heroic. In one stirring scene, the English army stands fearfully before superior French troops. King Henry challenges his men to take heart. Because the battle will be fought on “the feast of Crispian,” their victory will be remembered in its yearly celebration. The king tells his men, “This day is called the feast of Crispian . . . . We in it shall be remembered; we few, we happy few, we band of brothers.”
Today, the US Marine Corps refers to itself as a “band of brothers.” There is something about interdependence and personal sacrifice while under fire that binds people together for life.
Christians facing opposition can also have such a bond. Paul wrote, “I now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up in my flesh what is lacking in the afflictions of Christ” (Colossians 1:24).
Did Paul believe Christ’s suffering on the cross was insufficient? No, His atonement was completely adequate for all our sin. What Paul meant was that as we complete Christ’s work on earth amid painful opposition, we share in His sufferings. Jesus suffered for obeying the will of God, and so must we. But like Paul, we can find joy as we draw closer to our Lord and our band of brothers and sisters.
Oh, how we need support in times
Of suffering and despair—
Upheld with love by saints of God
Who understand and care. —D. De Haan
Suffering can be a magnet that draws the Christian close to Christ and fellow Christians.
Devotional forwarded to you by:
UP CHRISTIAN YOUTH MOVEMENT
NCCP Ecumenical Ministry – Church of the Risen Lord
University of the Philippines, Diliman Campus, QC