Read Colossians 1:12-14
In athletic running events, swimming competitions, and a few other sports, a person is required to be qualified in order to participate. These qualification events are often referred to as preliminaries or entry heats. A participant must achieve a specific time or placing if she/he is going to be allowed to compete in the final which will determine the overall winner.
The passage taken from the first chapter in the letter written to the Colossians speaks of qualifying. The writer is sharing why thanks is given for the members of this faith community. God is lifted up as being the one who has qualified them to share in the inheritance of the people whom God has set apart. It is the action of God which has made the people heirs, not the people themselves. This action of God has brought the people into the light of the Son’s kingdom where there is redemption by the forgiveness of sin.
In sporting events, one’s qualification depends solely upon the athlete’s or team’s performance. Colossians indicates that our qualifying to be participants in the Son’s kingdom has no dependency upon us, instead it is God who does the qualifying. This is exciting news because we would fail to qualify if it were not for the forgiveness found in Jesus.