"Both/And" Gratitude

Kristen Deede Johnson

READ : Colossians 1:11-14

. . . may you be prepared to endure everything with patience, while joyfully giving thanks to the Father, who has enabled you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the light. (vv. 11-12)

Sometimes people worry that Christianity focuses too much on eternal life and not enough on life in the here and now. I think this is really a “both/and” rather than an “either/or” issue. It’s not that we have to focus either on life right now or on eternal life, but rather that in Christ we have been given both new life that transforms us right now and eternal life in the age to come.

In today’s passage we read that we’ll be sharing in the inheritance of the saints, which we’ll be given in the future. We also read that we have been rescued from the power of darkness and transferred into the kingdom of God’s Son. The past tense here signals that this has already happened. We read further that in Christ we have redemption and the forgiveness of sins, which indicates that right now we’re redeemed and forgiven.

With the knowledge that we’re currently living as reconciled members of God’s family, even as we wait in hope for the full inheritance promised us, how can we not joyfully give thanks to God?


God, we thank you that our new life in you begins now and lasts eternally.