The targum of Walsh and Keesmaat, Colossians Remixed, continues:
In italics again, Paul’s words: Col. 1:9 For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you. We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives.
So ever since we have heard of your faith, love and hope, we have not ceased to pray for you. And our prayer is that in a world that has commodified knowledge, you will be saturated with the holistic, intimate knowledge of God’s way with this world that he has created. May your lives be characterized not by the accumulation of disembodied, unconnected facts and information but by a playful, history-embracing, this-worldly, interconnected wisdom that traces the wise and loving way God engages this world in all of its rich diversity.
10 so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, 11 being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, 12 and giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of his people in the kingdom of light.13 For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.
What we are praying for is that you will demonstrate a spiritual wisdom and understanding in all things, so that you can discern where the Spirit is leading the church in this new century. You see, such knowledge, wisdom and understanding are essential if you are to shape cultural life in a way that is worthy of the Lord. And don’t miss the scope of what we are talking about here. What is at stake is nothing less than the pleasure of our Lord, a pleasure that he takes when every dimension of our lives bears the fruit of his kingdom.
But it is not simply a matter of growing in knowledge and then displaying the practical consequences or uses of that knowledge in our daily lives. No, that would be too much like the intellectualism that was the hallmark of modernity. The knowledge and cultural fruitfulness we are talking about feed off each other. Knowing the world in wisdom and discernment engenders a certain way of life that then leads to an increase in knowledge. Knowing grows in the doing.
But heres the rub, Everything in this monolithic culture of McWorld globalization is allied against you and will try to keep your imagination captive, stripping you of the courage to dream of alternative ways to live. When a culture is threatened, it becomes especially repressive of those who dare to live differently, subject to another vision of life, another Lord. So may you be strengthened with all strength and empowered with the weighty power of God in this disempowered culture of unbearable lightness. May your vision, your stubborn refusal to allow your imaginations to be taken captive, have the tenacity to hang in there for the long haul and a patience that doesn’t need to aggressively realize the kingdom of God now, because your faith will work and wait for a miracle, for the coming of God’s shalom to our terribly broken world.
You will have the resources of such patient endurance and be sustained for the long haul of radical obedience in the face of overwhelming odds if your life is embedded in gratitude. Joyful thanksgiving is deeply empowering.
And what we are thankful for provides us with a subversive imagination. While the cybernetic revolution will tell us that the world is in the hands of those with the most powerful computers and widest Net access, and while the forces of globalization arrogantly proclaim that those who control capital have a proprietary right to the resources of creation, we confess that this world is the inheritance of those who live in the light — not the dim light of the Enlightenment, nor the glittering lights of computer screens, televisions and gambling terminals, but the light that liberates us from darkness.
You see, friends, because we are not subsevient to the empire but subjects of the kingdom of God’s beloved Son, we have the audacity to say to the darkness, “We beg to differ!” We will not be a pawn to the Prince of Darkness any longer, because we owe him no allegiance, and by God’s grace, through our redemption and forgiveness, our imaginations have been set free.