Christ Holds It All Together
15-18 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.
18-20 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.
Colossians 1:17-19 (The Message)
Who doesn’t love a good parade? In this fast-paced culture, perhaps parades do not carry the excitement and mystique they once did. Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, then all those parades on New Year’s Day–but alas, I digress into the past. Confession time: I haven’t sat down and watched those in a long time. But, I do watch our local parades here in Sheffield, Alabama–Homecoming and Christmas–and enjoy them very much. As these musings ooze out of this not-so-normal brain (the most insulted I have ever been was when someone called me normal) I hit upon a question and a thought: Why do I not enjoy the parades on TV but find myself enjoying being on the sidewalks of these less than glamorous productions? In case you didn’t notice, that was the question.
Now for the thought: I enjoy these parades because they are happening right in the middle of my own community. And that thought led me to this thought: We need another parade in our community and in fact, it is a parade that is already forming. Maybe your community needs one like this, too. This parade is a perpetual parade that is getting people caught up in the excitement and is going to get even more people caught up. I just heard someone thinking, “What parade????” I’m so glad you asked that question.
The Resurrection Parade, of course! Some people are waiting for The Resurrection Parade. But me? I’m already in it! When I need to take a deep dive in Bible study I do not always turn to The Message. But when I know I need a fresh perspective, Eugene Peterson and his translators offer me just that. Such is the case with this Colossians passage. I once wondered by those Bible editors put headings above each section but now I have come to appreciate those headings. Especially this one: Christ Holds It All Together! Wow! Now if I could only remember this all the time it would take the load off of my shoulders.
I love this turn of a phrase they use: “He was supreme in the beginning and—leading the resurrection parade—He is supreme in the end.” I have noticed some Tenured Pew Sitters and Churchians spend their life WAITING for The Resurrection. Me? I cannot wait for “The” Resurrection, you know, the one at the end of time. I need The Resurrection NOW! I once worked in a sales office and there was this cartoon:
The Resurrection is not meant to be something that we wait for; it is meant to be experienced in the here and now. Go back to the original Resurrection: that other Mary experienced a Resurrection, the Disciples minus Thomas experienced a Resurrection, and then Thomas got his own Resurrection. And I got my own Resurrection, many times over. Truth is that every time I needed a Resurrection and looked to Jesus, He gave me HIS Resurrection! Resurrection is this: Bringing forth life from the dead places.
Resurrection is not limited to cemeteries and graves. It is a Parade that marches into the dead places we often find ourselves in; dead places like fear, doubt, pain or failure to name a few. Resurrection creates the most important parade of all: The Victory Parade! And Jesus is the Grand Marshall of this Parade. After all He owns The Resurrection because it is His! But when we give up the right to our own life and surrender it to Him, lo and behold, He shares His Resurrection with us. The very thing that is killing us is killed and we have RESURRECTION!
And Christ holds it all together. As Peterson and his gang put it, “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.” When we need a Resurrection, Jesus has one just for us. It is HIS Resurrection but He gladly shares it with us when we admit we need it and that only HE can give it.
Smack dab in the middle of all this negative junk that is happening in our nation, I am seeing the Resurrection Parade. I see God’s people giving up their love for the institution for the joy of the Kingdom of God. I am seeing community leaders who realize that it takes more than government and money to fix our problems–you have to bring in God. I am seeing people who felt like God did not, could not love them catch glimpses of the truth that God does love them and offers them more than they could imagine. Not enough of it yet, mind you, but the parade is lining up. Are you going to be in that Parade, The Resurrection NOW Parade? I’m in it, and I hope to see you here, too.
Love God with all your heart. Love others the way Jesus loves you. And make sure all the glory goes to Him.