Sometimes the consequence of a slight movement is catastrophe. A heel is caught and a person plunges headlong down a flight of stairs never to be the same again. A hand jerks on a wheel and, in a few seconds, parallel lines of cars are reconfigured into highway wreckage. A rock slides and an entire mountainside landscape is quickly reshaped. A tectonic plate slips that produces an earthquake that creates a typhoon that reconfigures the earth that increases the earth’s wobble. We are standing on shaky ground. Or are we?
Colossians 1:15-23 tells us that all things …
- in heaven and on earth; visible and invisible; thrones, dominions, rulers, and authorities, were created by Christ, through Christ, and for Christ.
- follow behind Christ.
- hold together in Christ.
The passage also tells us that Christ …
- is the image of the invisible God.
- contains the fullness of God.
- is the beginning.
- is the firstborn of all creation.
- is the firstborn from the dead.
- is the head of the body, the church.
- is preeminent in everything.
The passage tells us all these spectacular things about Christ and his relationship to all things so that when it is announced that all things on earth and in heaven, are offered reconciliation to God through Christ who has reconciled believers (by his physical body through his death) to present us holy, faultless, and blameless before him, we will be amazed.
[Note that the reason that we needed reconciliation to God was because we were alienated from God, and the reason we were alienated from God was because our attitude towards him was hostile and our actions were evil. Also, note that because of our hostility, God was also hostile toward us. We were on very shaky ground.]
But there is a warning. You will not – WILL NOT – be reconciled (presented to God as holy, faultless, and blameless – thereby negating his wrath towards you) if you …
Do not shift! If you make a slight movement away from the hope of the gospel that you heard – the gospel that has been proclaimed in all creation under heaven, your life will be altered – you will not be reconciled.
You must …
- remain grounded in the faith – keep believing that your peace with God depends on Christ.
- stay steady in the faith – keep believing that your holy, faultless, and blameless position before God, the ground of your peace with God, depends on Christ.
Now, it becomes crystal clear why we need to know how awesome Jesus is and what his relationship is to all things. We need to know that Jesus existed before creation, that he created all things, and that he controls all things. We need to know that he controls tripping feet, and impulsive jerking wrists, and sliding rocks, and moving tectonic plates, and the redistribution of the earth’s mass, and the wobbling earth. We need to know that Jesus holds all things together and that he is the only one who can prevent a slight movement away from faith that will plunge you towards the greatest catastrophe of all – God’s wrath. He is the one who enables you to stand firm on solid ground.
So, this morning I just woke up thinking about all this and how it’s the Christmas season and how the Christ who created all things and who is still holding all things together – even our faith – came to us as a baby to be the perfect version of us and to be the recipient of God’s wrath toward us so that he could make things right between us and God and afterwards be the rock that steadies us and keeps us in God’s peace.
Praying that you will see the glory of Christ this Christmas season.