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In the 1820s and 30s, at the South Bend of the Saint Joseph River, a city and its institutions were just being established by people with names like Navarre, Coquillard, and Sorin. At the exact same time in modern-day Turkey, on the southern bank of a tributary of the winding river called Meander, an ancient city named Colossae was being unearthed by archaeologists.
Colossae had been forgotten for centuries, yet Paul's letter to the Colossian church has endured. It is clear from Paul's letter that it was a city full of pervasive persuasive teachings which in various winding ways (like a river) conflicted with the good news of Jesus Christ. Whether in the 1st, 19th, or 21st century, the world is teeming with empty promises and counterfeit wisdom peddled by invasive ideologies and persistent powers- but they do not get the last word. In the letter to the Colossians we'll find some of the most inspiring, all-encompassing descriptions of the good news of Jesus in all of the New Testament. As we dig in together this fall, the truth will hit us like crashing waves- only Jesus truly offers and embodies Unimaginably Good News for us and for all creation.