By Edna M. Thompson
Siloam Youth Sunday School Teacher
In our lesson this week, we begin Unit III of the Quarter, titled “Imitating Jesus,” in which we explore further understanding of the person and work of Christ as presented in the Letter of Colossians, in which Jesus is imaged as Lord of all Creation and the author of our peace with God. This lesson (taken from Colossians 1:15-20) presents a cosmic view of Christ as the indwelling of God by whom all creation was effected and through whom all the universe is ordered and held in place. Christ is the head of the church, in which God is manifested in a special way. God relates to the church as the body of Christ through which constant reconciliation is taking place.
The letter to the Colossians begins with a standard thanksgiving section, where Paul thanks God for the Colossians’ faith, hope and love. At verse nine, Paul shifts from thanking God to praying to God for the church’s maturation. The end of his prayer reminds the readers of their forgiveness from sins and the redemption “from the power of darkness.” Just as Christ was counted as supreme above all creation because He existed before it, He is also supreme in the new creation because of his status as “the firstborn from among the dead” (verse 18, NIV).
Using only six verses, Paul presents a grand depiction of Christ as the ruler and authority of all He created and continues to sustain, including those powers of darkness. The cosmic victory established by Christ came through High own suffering and death. He did not distribute more violence; He became the victim of it. This Victim is the cosmic ruler to whom all things are subjected and created from the purpose of becoming like Him.
To make our religious life deep and strong we need to recover that lost sense of awe. We need to be taught afresh the fear of the Lord. And to recover that lost sense of awe, to create a feeling of reverence, we need a fresh vision of God as the Holy Sovereign.”
As Christians, we affirm that God created all things through Christ. Despite our fragmented and chaotic world, we understand that what holds the world together is not survival of the fittest of the unending cycle of violence, but the reconciliation and peace of Christ. We have a role to play in this work of Christ in the world. As a part of the church, of which Christ is the head, we accept the apostolic role of proclaiming the gospel of reconciliation in the world. As the death of Christ on the cross and His resurrection event are the foundation of God’s reconciliation for all alienated creatures, we as the church are the agency within which Christ is continuing that reconciling process. We accept the responsibility from Christ to work toward the building the kingdom of God on earth.
Peace and reconciliation are constant needs and desires of which we are aware. In our divisive and fragmented communities and across our divided world, we long for peace and harmony. Some of us think we know how to achieve it or what to do to bring it to pass, others are at a loss for finding a remedy. Sometimes we work hard to establish peace, but even when we achieve it, it does not last. How can you find lasting peace? How do we embrace and love people who are unlike us? We have many obstacles that stand in the way of our achievement of peace and we have a constant struggle.