Colossians 1, 15-20
Something to read
Who is the image of the invisible God, the first-born of every creature: For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: And he is before all things, and by him all things consist. And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the first-born from the dead; that in all things he might have the pre-eminence. For it pleased the Father that in him should all fullness dwell; And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.
King James Version
He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation; for in him all things in heaven and on earth were created, things visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or powers - all things have been created through him and for him.
He himself is before all things, and in him all things hold together.
He is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that he might come to have first place in everything.
For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him God was pleased to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, by making peace through the blood of his cross.
New Revised Standard Version
Something to think about
Paul uses the adjective ‘first-born’ twice in this passage, once as the ‘first-born’ of all creation and again as the ‘first-born’ from the dead. Before Jesus, there is a raft of human history that confronts us: wars, intrigue, relationships built and kept, and relationships broken.
Since Jesus this beautiful-and-ugly history continues, and we could find things happening in our own minds right now, as we read these very words, which are not reconcilable with Peace. Yet Paul points to Jesus as the source of Peace as the first-born of a new beginning for humankind. Jesus’ first birth heralded a period of learning from which we continue to benefit today.
His second birth, that of resurrection from a death caused by a culmination of those ugly practices which mar our history, provides us with hope that we are not abandoned to those forces. We are given the assurance that we have hope in God that through Jesus we can find fullness and peace in all things.
Something to do
Pick up a newspaper or read some articles online. Look at the stories and instead of feeling as if you cannot effect the events happening on those pages, come up with a way to do just one thing today that will positively impact one of those events.
Something to pray
When we are faced with despair,
Or think that we have only a small,
unimportant role to play in your world,
We realise that the birth and resurrection
Of your son, Jesus, gives us the hope
That we are your hands
and that we make a difference in our community.
Today’s contributor is Ryan Simons, a student training for ministry with the United Reformed Church at Westminster College, Cambridge