Scripture

Colossians 1:15-20

15 The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. 16 For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. 17 He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18 And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. 19 For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, 20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.

Reflection

Ever so often, I experience a moment of worry and panic. Honestly, that moment is often precipitated by reading or watching the latest news. Feeling that “our world is falling apart” might be something you also experience from time to time. We often worry because we want to fix things that feel out of control. We worry even more when we have lost trust in the one who has power or authority over the things that feel out of control to us.

In today’s passage, the Apostle Paul challenges us to see Jesus Christ in the fullness of his identity, which we know lies within the fullness of the Trinity - God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. Paul writes, “For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him (Jesus).” It might be easier to view Jesus Christ as our Teacher, Healer and Savior. It might be more challenging to also view Jesus Christ as our Creator and Sustainer - the One, as Paul writes, in whom “all things hold together.”  

My favorite version for reading this particular passage is the NLT (New Living Translation), which provides simple phrases that help me better understand some of the intricate concepts Paul shares. It reads in this way:

  • 15 Christ is the visible image of the invisible God. 
  • 16 Everything was created through him and for him. 
  • 17 He existed before anything else, and he holds all creation together.

Some scholars believe this passage from Colossians was written as a hymn or affirmation of faith that the early Christians shared together in house churches. New Testament scholar NT Wright made this comment about the passage, “Paul now invites the Colossians to join their voices. …[Jesus] is not one more rival to the gods of paganism. He reigns supreme over all. He has given himself to his world in loving self-sacrifice... with the intention of eventually bringing the entire universe into a new order and harmony.”

When we experience worry or panic, when we feel that “our world is falling apart,” we do well to pause and remember the fullness, the loving self-sacrifice, the knowledge, the power, the compassion, the wisdom and the love of the One we trust in who will bring the entire universe into a new order and harmony. 

Jesus Christ is the One in whom “all things hold together.”

Take a moment to identify what it is that causes you to worry and panic.

  • How might you keep today’s passage accessible, to help you remember the fullness of the One who is holding everything together?

Prayer

Lord, when I lose sight of you, help me to see you once again in the fullness of who you are. Help me trust in you again today. In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.