Toward the end of the first chapter of Paul’s Letter to the Colossians, Paul spoke of the Colossians’ “love in the spirit”. This expression points to a supernatural love beyond mere human affection. He will go on to speak about how the Christian community is to be built up in such a love.
All is centered on Christ. This is a key theme of the letter. Paul praises Christ as the key to everything, the “first born” of Creation, above all other powers and authorities. Christians then, as now, need to open themselves to a greater experience of Grace.
In this section, Paul speaks of his trials and danger he has experienced at sea, on land, and at the hands of false bretheren. And yet his message is hopeful - drawing our attention to the redemptive power of suffering and our ability to cooperate in Christ’s suffering.