Read: Colossians 1:15-20
. . . and in him all things hold together. (v. 17)
After having looked at the early parts of the four Gospels, we will now look at other New Testament passages that remind us of what we are celebrating at Christmas. Today we come to an eye-popping passage from the apostle Paul in Colossians 1. Although most English translations break up verses 15-20 into about six sentences, in the original Greek this is one long, breathless sentence. It is as though Paul cannot pile up the words fast enough to express his exuberance over Jesus Christ.
Over and over Paul puts in the Greek words ta panta, or “all things.” All things were created by Jesus. All things exist for Jesus. All things hold together in Jesus. All things have been reconciled through Jesus’ blood. In a few days when we celebrate Jesus’ birth and how Mary laid him in a manger, we can remember that Christ Jesus is the one who created the atoms that made up the wood of his manger cradle. As Frederick Dale Bruner has said, pick up any tidbit of this creation and look at it closely enough and you will see the words “Made by J.C.” (The Gospel of John).
Everything and each thing hangs together in Jesus because everything and each thing was saved by Jesus. We cannot wrap our minds around the magnitude or scope of the work completed by Mary’s baby boy. Paul could not get the words out fast enough. May his enthusiasm be contagious for us all! —Scott Hoezee
As you pray, ask the Spirit to reveal to you the wonder of “all things.”
About the Author
Scott Hoezee is an ordained pastor in the Christian Reformed Church of North America. He served two Michigan congregations from 1990-2005 and since 2005 has been a faculty member at Calvin Theological Seminary in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where he serves chiefly as the Director of The Center for Excellence in Preaching. He is the author of several books, including most recently Why We Listen to Sermons (Calvin Press 2019) and is the co-host of the “Groundwork” radio program.