Eugene Peterson’s book Eat this Book teaches us to chew on a passage of scripture, digest it, and then put it to use in practical ways. Our early Christian fathers and mothers called this process Lectio Divina. This message in Colossians from Paul to his “holy and faithful brothers in Christ at Colosse” speaks clearly and emphatically about the surpremacy of Christ over the world and over our lives.
JESUS IS SUPREME: Colossians 1: 15-20
“We look at this Son and see the God who cannot be seen. We look at this Son and see God’s original purpose in everything created. For everything, absolutely everything, above and below, visible and invisible, rank after rank after rank of angels—everything got started in him and finds its purpose in him. He was there before any of it came into existence and holds it all together right up to this moment. And when it comes to the church, he organizes and holds it together, like a head does a body.
“He was supreme in the beginning and—leading the resurrection parade—he is supreme in the end. From beginning to end he’s there, towering far above everything, everyone. So spacious is he, so roomy, that everything of God finds its proper place in him without crowding. Not only that, but all the broken and dislocated pieces of the universe—people and things, animals and atoms—get properly fixed and fit together in vibrant harmonies, all because of his death, his blood that poured down from the cross.
The Colossian Christians were confused by teachers who had come into their congregation encouraging ascetic practices that led to a special knowledge necessary for the proper worship of God. In response, Paul shouts out the words! Christ alone is sufficient! He is the ultimate, supreme power. He was there before creation, during creation, and after creation. Everything and everyone finds purpose in him, including the church. Everything that is broken is “fixed and fit together” by his death and resurrection.
The Spiritual Formation Bible points out that this passage describes the transformation at the heart of Christian faith. Once we were hostile toward God and acting wrongly. Now, through Christ’s death we are a new people, acting rightly. (See Col. 3: 1-17 for more details about this transformation.
♥ If Christ is supreme, we are not! We live in the Kingdom of God on earth; God is in control. Ask the Holy Spirit to show you where you are still acting as if you are in charge of the universe. When something is revealed, pray for the courage to surrender it to Christ.
♥ If Christ is supreme, we are not! The earth belongs to him. Begin by reading Psalm 8. God has put us in charge of the universe. We hold God’s creation in our hands. What are we doing to protect this universe from mankind’s plundering and destruction? Each of us can do our part. What is yours?
♥ If Christ is supreme, he deserves our adoration and praise. What fills you with praise? Reading a psalm? Walking in nature? Playing with a baby? Listening to music? Confessing your sins and feeling forgiven? Sharing your thoughts with a friend? Attending worship? Make time to praise God this week.
MORE FOOD FOR THOUGHT
“Jesus’ call to discipleship is primal, all-encompassing, all-inclusive, demanding a total commitment. One cannot be a little bit for Christ, give him some attention, or make him one of many concerns.” (Henri Nouwen)
Image of cross by scottroen.com