“In him (Christ) 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.” (Col. 1:16-17)
For the time between Election Day and Thanksgiving Day, there may be no more appropriate holy day than Reign of Christ Sunday. And there may be no more reassuring scripture–no better song to keep on our lips–than this hymn from the letter to the Colossians.
In case we’ve forgotten–either in our excitement or in our disappointment–Colossians reminds us that our true Leader shares his own strength with us, and by Christ’s own power we are “prepared to endure everything with patience.” (1:11) The old joke, of course, is that one should never pray for patience, but maybe it’s one of those things that goes without saying. In Christ, we need not suffer through the lesson of patience; we can receive it, and we can give thanks!
Colossians reminds us that our true Leader shaped creation out of chaos, and that Christ is still at work bringing reconciliation and peace. (1:20) In Christ, we need not suffer through the dramas and discord swirling around us; we can be reconcilers, we can be peacemakers, and we can give thanks!
Colossians reminds us that our true Leader was established before the darkness and light were ever distinguished, and Christ is still at work rescuing us from darkness, bringing us into the family so we can share in the inheritance of light. (1:13-14) In Christ, we need not suffer through the anxieties of the dark; we can walk in the light, and we can give thanks!
Colossians reminds us that our true Leader was established before the oceans and lands were pushed apart, and Christ is still at work pulling us toward each other, bringing us into unity, holding us together. (1:17) In Christ, we need not suffer through the splintering of our communities; we are gathered together, and we can give thanks!
In Christ, our true Leader, all things are gathered together. Power is gathered into patience. Creation is gathered into order. Time is gathered into eternity. And we are gathered into a people, a family; we are held together as beneficiaries of Christ. And we can give thanks!