14 day plan

The Cosmic Christ

Day 7 of 14


Colossians 1:17

17He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.

Reflection: Christ, the Son, is before all things. This can be understood in two senses, and from the context I think Paul means for us to see both.

In the first place, he is pre-eminent over all things. He is the one for whom the cosmos was made. He is the divine Prince of all creation, Lord of all he has inherited from the Father. No-one precedes him, in that sense.

But it also means that he pre-exists all things. He has his being from before the being of the cosmos, since it is created by and through and for him. Even though we know him as Jesus of Nazareth, who was born in about 4 BC and had human flesh and was a definite and recognisable part of the world, he had existence long before that. This is something that John’s gospel recognises too: ‘he was in the beginning with God’ (John 1:2).

Also, in him ‘all things hold together’. He is not only the agent of creation, but he sustains it – as Hebrews says, ‘by his powerful word’ (Hebrews 1:3). All things find their coherence and purpose in him. The Son, for whom the world was made, is the meaning of it all. In all the chaos and drama we see swirling around us – the turmoil of history and the tumult of nature – there is a still point: the Son. He is the centre of all things.

This meditation is intended so that we feel at once humbled and awed. We are humbled because the centre of all things is not us. We are merely the chorus line, not the stars. But there is an extraordinary star set upon this stage, who is both human and divine, both man and God: Jesus Christ. And that should reassure us too, for if we are in him, we are going with the flow of all things. We have surrendered our opposition to the cosmic Lord, and are living to serve him.

Prayer:  Glorious Father, I praise you for the extraordinary power of your Son in the creation of all things; and that in knowing him, I know you. Amen.

Colossians 1:1-29

1Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and Timothy our brother,

2To God’s holy people in Colossae, the faithful brothers and sisters in Christ:

Grace and peace to you from God our Father.

Thanksgiving and Prayer

3We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, 4because we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love you have for all God’s people— 5the faith and love that spring from the hope stored up for you in heaven and about which you have already heard in the true message of the gospel 6that has come to you. In the same way, the gospel is bearing fruit and growing throughout the whole world—just as it has been doing among you since the day you heard it and truly understood God’s grace. 7You learned it from Epaphras, our dear fellow servant, who is a faithful minister of Christ on our behalf, 8and who also told us of your love in the Spirit.

9For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you. We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives, 10so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, 11being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, 12and giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light. 13For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, 14in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

The Supremacy of the Son of God

15The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. 16For 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. 17He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18And 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. 19For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, 20and 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.

21Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior. 22But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation— 23if you continue in your faith, established and firm, and do not move from the hope held out in the gospel. This is the gospel that you heard and that has been proclaimed to every creature under heaven, and of which I, Paul, have become a servant.

Paul’s Labor for the Church

24Now I rejoice in what I am suffering for you, and I fill up in my flesh what is still lacking in regard to Christ’s afflictions, for the sake of his body, which is the church. 25I have become its servant by the commission God gave me to present to you the word of God in its fullness— 26the mystery that has been kept hidden for ages and generations, but is now disclosed to the Lord’s people. 27To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.

28He is the one we proclaim, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone fully mature in Christ. 29To this end I strenuously contend with all the energy Christ so powerfully works in me.