Read: Colossians 1:15-23
He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. 16 For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. 17 And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18 And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. 19 For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, 20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.
21 And you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, 22 he has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before him, 23 if indeed you continue in the faith, stable and steadfast, not shifting from the hope of the gospel that you heard, which has been proclaimed in all creation under heaven, and of which I, Paul, became a minister.
“Most scholars think that Colossians 1:15-20 came from a poem or a hymn in the early Church that described what Christians believed about Jesus.”—David Guzik
We are a people who struggle at love.
Our hearts are disabled,
necessitating mnemonic devices
and visual aids
Longing to bring you closer
to the imagination,
Paul held out a hymn–
something the sheep could sing.
I dare to draft a poem.
You, in the most beautiful mercy,
reached out with real fingers to touch,
to dwell fully in flesh,
so close they could see
the color of your eyes.
That our memory still fails is tragic.
Highest of kings,
maker of protons and paramecium,
glaciers and gravity,
seraphim and souls,
designer of maps, castles, embassies, and all that dwell therein—
Your eyes saw the beginning.
Then, You saw us fall.
Oh, we were alienated and hostile.
We turned our blind gazes to evil deeds.
But You imagined more,
a pure white bride,
a church standing holy, blameless,
perfect in our worship of You, the Head,
reflecting your glory!
And when it was time,
your eyes wept.
They squeezed tight in prayer so earnest
That blood dripped from your brow.
And blood dripped from the thorns,
and from your cross.
The Father turned His gaze away from You.
And it was finished.
Those eyes closed in death.
Eyes opened again,
and the world would never be the same,
would forever be indebted to you,
Jesus, Your eyes watch the rising and falling of tides, nations,
suns and moons.
Not a leaf falls, not a comet flies
without your gaze following.
You hold it together.
Your eyes scan our lives
for rocks we might stumble over,
search the skies for storms that might batter, so that you can keep us safe…
keep it all in place….
Savior, hold us tight–
this body, your body, the one you left to carry on—
keep us stable and steadfast.
One day I, too—
one day we, too,
will see with new eyes
shining like flames of fire.
The vision You had at the first
will be complete,
and the new hearts in our new chests
will beat to your love
and we will never forget
how to love you