Scripture: Colossians 1:15-23
Key verse: (17) He himself is before all things, and in him all things hold together.
Reflection: The first name I learned in North Carolina was Cherie Berry. Those first few days at Montreat when everything about this state that one day would be home (now there was a thought that did not occur to me during Alpha youth week 2008) was new and unfamiliar, but every elevator ride greeted me with a name that was as charming as the smile was friendly. Yes, Ms. Berry was there every single time, assuring me via her stamp of approval as Commissioner of Labor, that my sky ride was indeed safe and meeting every standard. There she was in 2014 too as I entered the Myers Park elevator with a box of books and while there were no witnesses, I swear I heard her say “bless your heart, welcome home Mr. Derek.” You know her too, for I guarantee you have not taken an elevator ride in all of NC without her picture riding along.
Let’s go to Colossae for a moment, the geographical context for today’s passage. It was a city saturated with the understanding that the Emperor’s divine authority (Pax Romana) was holding everything together. The entire culture was dominated by an egomaniacal emperor in a place where cruelty could be mistaken for justice and patronage more valued than partnership. The Emperor’s visage was imprinted on every coin, Rome’s presence on every corner.
Yet amidst this noise and mayhem the author of Colossians defiantly proclaims: Christ holds all things together! It is Christ, firstborn of all creation, in whom life is created, found, redeemed and abundant. It is Christ who is with, for, above, below, beyond, within you. In every nook, every cranny, every heart, every home, every problem, every question, every hurt; in every dead-end, wrong turn and every corner of all creation, you will find, as predictably as a picture of Cherie Berry in a Carolina elevator, the very presence of Jesus Christ. And in Christ’s presence, the world is new, the way is found and the kingdom present and ready. In him all things, including and especially yourself, are held together.
Prayer: Lord, in Jesus Christ you hold together this world. When things feel like they are falling apart, help me remember that nothing with you is lost. Amen.
Author: Derek Macleod
[Scripture quotations are from New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved].