24 Jun 2013

Image of the Invisible God: Meditations on Col 1.15-20, Pt 5

Author: Bobby Valentine | Filed under: Bible, Colossians, Discipleship, Hermeneutics, Jesus, Prayer, Spiritual Disciplines

for in him all the fullness
was pleased to dwell
and through him God was pleased to reconcile to himself
All Things
whether on earth or in heaven
by making Shalom [peace] through the blood of his cross.
There has been a major shift in Paul’s melody since the first half of his song. Those “lyrics”  focused upon Jesus’ cosmic work as Creator, and the grace that brings to us.  Now the tune is cosmic work of Christ as Redeemer. This pairing, “creation” and “redemption,” is something Paul gets from his Hebrew Bible (Old Testament).   Both creation and redemption strike the cord of God’s cosmic, eternal, unending love! Sing Psalm 136 to see how the Bible turns these themes into almost a mantra.  God’s world began in an act of creative love (Genesis 1-2).  Yet God’s creation was vandalized by Sin (Genesis 3-11). Think of the most beautiful “THING” you can imagine. Multiply that beauty by a billion. Now you may have some notion of the Art of God in creation.  Now imagine that beautiful THING with the most disgraceful GRAFFITI … this is sort of like the Vandalism of Creation by Sin.
Paul strains at the notes in this new hymnic verse because the Cosmic Christ reaches out with even greater love (if that is possible!!) to win back, to restore, to renew, to repair, to undo the Fall of All Things! of All Creation! 
The scope of the Gospel of the Cosmic Christ is breathtakingly beautiful.  It is stunning in fact.  Why? Because the One who created all THINGSrefuses to give up on all those THINGS. The conflict that has inhabited God’s creation since Genesis 3: the hatred, the mistreatment, the oppression, the loneliness, the racism, the vandalism of creation, the sexism, the selfishness, the plain ugliness of evil …  Jesus in, and through, his own material physical body (1.21) made of the very THINGS he had created … reconciled it all … resolved the conflict, brought redemption and SHALOM through that body of flesh for the purpose of redeeming not only his own human body but EVERYTHING in heaven and earth, visible and invisible that he had created.
Through Jesus, the Image of God, God brought about peace {shalom} between himself and all that has been created. This includes you, me, us, what is above, what is seen and what is not.  The lyric of Paul is simply breathtaking. It leaves me speechless.
Musings: How big of a gospel do you believe in? Is the Gospel beautiful?
Ask God to give you eyes to see the universe, and everything in it, as something that Christ created and for which he died … and for which he conquered death for. God open my eyes.

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