By Robert Halsey Pine
“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.” (Colossians 1:15-23 NRSV).
St. Paul said, “He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation…” He is Emmanuel, God with us. When we doubt the existence of God, and even the most faithful do in moments of worldly chaos, we have only to look at Christ Jesus for assurance for He is truly with us. He is with us as Paul says to the point of, “making peace through the blood of his cross,” the cross of Jesus. He sent Jesus, “to reconcile to himself all things.”
God has gone the extra mile for us. He created us and gave us free will. We did not handle that freedom very well. We disobeyed our Father and chose the life of personal control over things. In a sense we invented the natural life by giving in to the objects around us and making them our idols, our gods. God gave us these things as He created our environments and us. Our curiosity got the best of us. Once we took these things as our own, we forgot that God had only asked us to look after his creations for Him. We cut Him out and took over.
After God had created the heavens and the earth, “Then the LORD God formed man from the dust of the ground (Genesis 2:1-17 NRSV).” He put man in the garden of Eden to take care of it. He surrounded man with many trees and plants, including the tree of life. Man had no knowledge of good and evil, but a tree was there in the garden that contained that knowledge and it was forbidden by God to be eaten from. Man took control of things and decided to check it out.
We continue to test God by taking control from Him. We want to tiptoe out on that limb to see how far we can go before it breaks. In doing so, like Adam, we actually lose control. It is best that we have God with us in all things. In this way we have His guidance in what we do.
He is the judge of what is good and what is evil. We must trust Him to give us discernment in these things. Through Christ, “God was pleased to reconcile to himself all things.” He wanted us to come back to Him so much that He shed his own blood on the cross through His first and only Son Jesus the Christ.
Robert Halsey Pine was born at Newark, Ohio in 1943. He is a graduate of Northeastern University and completed the program of Theological Education by Extension: Education for Ministry, School of Theology, the University of the South.