The doorbell’s regular chimes have stopped in recent months at our house—the considerably more frequent screams of our one-month-old have taken their place.
My wife and I love to host. And right now, we can’t.
There’s something special about cultivating relationships over a meal or a coffee; hearing about the rich assortment of stories and experiences that made the person sitting opposite you who they are. We miss it. At least we get to watch those stories and experiences unfold for our little boy, although with winter waging war outside and restrictions limiting our movements, we’re house-locked. A potent combination—COVID-19 and new parenthood—shook the routine and regularity right out of our lives.
All that to say, we’re feeling it. Frankly, it’s a battle at the moment.
Perhaps life feels like a battle for you, too.
In Colossians 1:15-20, Paul writes some stunning words about Jesus:
15 He is the image of the invisible God,
the firstborn over all creation.
16 For everything was created by him,
in heaven and on earth,
the visible and the invisible,
whether thrones or dominions
or rulers or authorities—
all things have been created through him and for him.
17 He is before all things,
and by him all things hold together.
18 He is also 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.
19 For God was pleased to have
all his fullness dwell in him,
20 and through him to reconcile
everything to himself,
whether things on earth or things in heaven,
by making peace
through his blood, shed on the cross.
Put simply, Paul’s reasoning looks like this.
Jesus is the image (the exact representation) of the invisible God, and the firstborn (the all-surpassing or preeminent one) over all creation. Here’s how we know:
1. Everything was created by him
2. He is before all things.
3. By him all things hold together.
4. He is the head of the Church.
We could write endless books dwelling on those phenomenal truths. Everything is a lot of things: the visible and invisible, thrones, dominions, rulers, authorities. Jesus preceded them. Jesus made them. All of them.
Each molecule in the vastness of creation, and in the very mind you are using to process these words, is bound to the others around it precisely because Jesus wills it.
The Church (less of an organisation than an organism) is a body made up of many parts but, make no mistake, Jesus is the brain. He leads and directs, coordinates and coagulates his people into this spiritual family of believers. It’s all His. But it gets better.
Jesus, the all-creating, molecule-sustaining, before-all-things head of the Church who is the exact image of God (read: is God), has reconciled us to Him through his blood, shed on the cross.
You might think, “Yeah, that’s really good and all, but what’s your point?”
It’s that Jesus is greater.
Jesus is greater than every frustration. Jesus is greater than COVID-19. Jesus is greater than every political issue or leader. Jesus is greater than my infant-induced sleep deprivation and longing for the doorbell to chime with visitors again. It doesn’t matter what the issue is. Whatever is looming in this life—the long and snaky road between you and eternity with Jesus—is minuscule compared to our Saviour.
The battle—my battle, your battle—belongs to the Lord. Victory is assured. We can be confident in Christ, and that confidence can direct our response to life.
That’s really good news.