“By him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.” ~Colossians 1:16-17
Paul may be talking about tangible powers on earth or spiritual forces in the heavens. He may be talking about good powers and evil powers. He may be talking about our own human systems of power and authority. The point, though, is that Christ has majesty and power over all of them, whatever shape they take. Just like every single thing under the sun, they were created by him and for him.
Jesus is the spiritual gravity that holds all of creation together.
God didn’t create the world and then pull back. He didn’t just hit the “start” button and now he just watches everything from a distance and only intervenes when he feels like he has to. God through Christ sustains the whole universe. He keeps the cosmos from becoming a chaos.
But that “hold together” in verse 17, I think, means even more. Christ is more than just the force that keeps everything spinning and you and me upright. Christ is the meaning of creation. He’s the rationale of creation. He is the rhyme and reason of creation. Creation exists in him. The universe is not self-sufficient. Neither are we. No matter how much we deceive ourselves into thinking we are. We and all of creation are entirely dependent on Christ.
The difficult part is knowing that God’s creation is—and has been for a while—out of harmony. It’s messed up. It’s fallen. Broken. The world is corrupted, distorted. It’s ravaged by sin.
And we worry about the whole thing being blown to bits. We worry more and more about an asteroid smashing through our atmsosphere or a world-wide nuclear war or global warming disentegrating all of it. The way technology is now, we get news instantaneously from around the corner and around the world. Everytime we turn on the TV, everytime we turn on the computer, we see more bombings, more killings, shootings, arson, gangs, violence, floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, drought. This news reinforces our notions that the world is dark and dangerous. All the violence around us reinforces our beliefs that everything in the world is aimless. It becomes harder and harder to believe that God’s creation can somehow be good. That it can ever be saved or redeemed. It’s very easy to give up hope in this world. It looks like evil rules. Not Christ.
And in the middle of all that, Paul gives us this beautiful and powerful poetry in Colossians 1:15-20. It inspires us. It nourishes us. It reminds us that God’s gracious purposes for this planet are being worked out and will be realized in Christ. Our destiny is determined by a merciful and loving Father, not by fate or fluke or chance.
If creation is created by Christ and exists for Christ, then it’s never meaningless or without direction. And if we belong to Christ, we also have a place in the story. And a divine purpose.
1) What’s the point of having a bodyguard you think you can whip? Does it make any sense to employ a bodyguard who’s not even as tough as you are? If you’re being threatened or attacked, why is the one charged with protecting you the guy you just licked?
2) There were no arrests made and no charges filed. It looks like Jones’ bodyguard is the only one who got hurt. But it was nearly 2:00 am. They were all, including Jones, quite drunk. And it was very public. And it was bad enough that hotel officials called 9-1-1. This is the 13th time in a little less than three years that police have been called to respond to a situation involving Jones. Thirteen times in three years! If we’re looking for a pattern…..
3) I’m hearing a few Cowboys fans today say they should cut Jones from the team. They say this is too much. He’s a bad egg. I’m certain these are the same fans who, in the wake of Michael Irvin’s very public troubles with prostitutes and cocaine and aggravated assault (attempted murder?), were calling for mercy and grace. See, I think if PacMan had five interceptions and had returned two punts for TDs already this season, Cowboys fans would be unanimously calling for Jerry Wayne and the NFL to show great leniency. “No arrests were made. No charges were filed. This is all being blown out of proportion.” It’s all about performance on the field. It has very little, if anything, to do with integrity or character. And that’s a shame on many fronts.