Creator & Reconciler

Do you have that one, favorite worship song that just seems to get you every time? The opening chords ring out and tears puddle in your eyes as you involuntarily lift your hands. You can’t help but sing it loud and you don’t really care if you’re on key or not. I’ve had several of them throughout my life, and no doubt will have several more.

Jesus made things good so that we can have a trust-filled, love-soaked relationship with God.
The older I get, though, the more I appreciate the rich theology of the church’s great hymns. Words matter, and the words we sing to God matter most of all.

Many scholars believe that, in Colossians 1:15-20, Paul is quoting an ancient Christian hymn. This is the kind of hymn I would like to sing with my church. In it, we would sing of Jesus as the Creator and Reconciler of all things.

All things!

Creator-Reconciler-WebIn Jesus all things were created. Through Jesus all things were reconciled. Through his death on the cross, Jesus has reconciled everything he has created back to God. Jesus’ creation went wrong, not because it was defective, but because his greatest creation, humans, rebelled. Jesus’ crucifixion made peace for his creation, bringing it back from the brink of destruction and death, so that God can, through the Holy Spirit and the Church, set it right again.

You have been reconciled to God. Jesus did that. He made peace between God and you. And not just ordinary peace (like the absence of conflict or some form of cosmic tolerance), but deep, lasting shalom – where everything is good. Jesus made it good between you and God.

“Great,” you might say. “Now I get to go on doing whatever I want and I’ll still get to go to heaven.” No. Jesus didn’t make things good between us and God so that we can continue to participate in the evil that broke our relationship in the first place. Jesus made things good so that we can have a trust-filled, love-soaked relationship with God. The peace that Jesus made does not mean that we get to keep living on our terms, but that the path is now clear to live on God’s terms, with God’s power, accomplishing God’s mission. In other words, Jesus reconciled us to God so that we can become who he first created us to be. And that’s good news!

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