August 11, 2018 • Life for Leaders
For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.
A few weeks ago, I shared about how I grew up believing that the Gospel was all about the saving of souls—Christ giving himself so individual people could go to heaven. I wondered then what the creation in Genesis had to do with anything if we would leave the world behind anyway.
But in today’s passage, we see Paul correct such thinking. With a simple phrase, he dispels any thought that creation doesn’t have a redemptive place in the Gospel story. All things, he says. “God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in [Jesus], and through him to reconcile to himself all things.”
In Colossians 1, Paul says that all things were made in Christ, all things were made for him, and all things hold together in him. Finally, Paul says, all things will be reconciled to him. No language can be plainer: all means all. For Paul, the Gospel of Jesus is not only about getting human souls right with God, but getting every single part of his very good creation right with him.
When we think about it, doesn’t it make such wonderful sense that the redemptive story of the Bible is not only for everyone but for everything? How great that God does not give up on the very good creation he set in motion at the beginning! God’s plan was not an evacuation plan; he set out to make things right and good and as they should be. So while we readily acknowledge the saving of souls (and bodies too!), what does it mean for us to recognize the saving work God is doing in all things all around us? Every big and little ordinary thing?
The work of Jesus and the animating movement of the Spirit is present in every space and sphere we set foot in today—the home lives we invest in, the companies we lead, the relationships we cultivate, the text messages we write, and the food that we eat.
I confess that I have nowhere near a full grasp of what it means that God is reconciling all these things to himself. But we know that in some way or another, Christ is claiming these things back from creation’s fall, and that reconciliation means a return to him. A literal re-turning, a re-orienting, so that everything begins to point to Christ and align themselves with God’s wonderful purpose for the world.
Something to Think About:
How do you imagine Christ is reconciling everything to him? What does this look like in your home, work, and communities today?
Something to Do:
Throughout your day, pause and breathe out a simple prayer, asking God to show you how his Spirit is at work in making things right, right where you are.
Saving God, the breadth and depth of Jesus’s work is so beautifully beyond our understanding. Thank you that you move to make things right. Thank you that you are concerned for all things, great and small. May we learn to see and take part in your reconciling work. Amen.
Explore more at the Theology of Work Project online commentary:
God at Work, Jesus at Work (Colossians 1:15–20)
Jerome Blanco works at Fuller Theological Seminary. He received his MDiv from Fuller Seminary and his MFA from New York University.