Touching (and heartbreaking) story from Chaplain Mike:
At the very beginning of the pastor’s message, these thoughts came to me. If what I just described had been the sermon, in my view it would have faithfully represented a plain and accurate understanding of the text at hand. Colossians 1:3-5 is a “thanksgiving” section — that is its function and purpose. The tone is completely positive, affirming, and joyous. It is warm, personal, and pastoral. There is no word of instruction or exhortation to the Colossians. It is all Paul — thanking God and praying and specifying the blessings of the Gospel in their lives for which he is so grateful.
However, that was not the sermon we heard.