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Advent 2019 Devotional – December 7

Advent 2019 Devotional – December 7

PRAY:

“Here am I, the servant of the Lord;
let it be with me according to your word.”
(Luke 1:38)

READ:

He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation,
for in him 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.
Colossians 1:15-17

It was a dark Christmas for me as I was weighed down by grief, leaving me less than ready to sing or even hear a Christmas carol. But it was that Christmas when I heard a line from Amy Grant’s rendition of “Breath of Heaven” that spoke to me. The line from the song was a prayer by Mary, fearful about birthing and raising the Messiah: “Hold me together,” she prayed. Yes! “Hold me together,” I also prayed. “I can’t do this myself!”

I marvel at today’s text as I see that Jesus not only holds you and me together, but “in him all things hold together.” After declaring Christ preeminent and “firstborn” over all, Paul speaks of Christ as “a kind of divine glue or spiritual gravity that holds creation together.” (David Garland, Colossians and Philemon)

Take away Christ and the universe disintegrates! For Christ “keeps the cosmos from becoming chaos.” (H. C. G. Moule, Studies in Colossians and Philemon) The writer of the book of Hebrews agrees: “He sustains all things by his powerful word” (Hebrews 1:2b). Not only is Christ the Creator of all things, but His word holds everything together. Jesus spoke His creative word in Genesis and speaks His word moment by moment sustaining all things. Paul told the Athenian intelligentsia that in Christ “we live and move and have our being” (Acts 17:28). The world exists, and only continues to exist, because Jesus wills it.

University of Edinburgh physicist Mark Harris concludes in his book The Nature of Creation:

“God both created the world at the beginning of time ex nihilo, and continues to support and uphold (or sustain) it, and is active in it. Since the world was dependent upon God for its existence in the first place (“In the beginning”), it continues to be dependent upon God for its continued existence.”

This means that Jesus not only created that sparrow singing outside my window, but Jesus holds it together right now. This moment as you read this page, Jesus holds together the universe, your body, the chair, the lamp, and the light streaming through the window. There is nothing in the universe that exists on its own. There are no random planets, molecules, or atoms, doing their own things. Even the persons refusing to acknowledge Jesus are dependent on Him for their very breath.

I once thought of God as high up in His heaven, but now know Him as lovingly involved in all of His creation. He is no ‘clockmaker god’ who made the world, wound it up, and walked away. Rather, Jesus is Emmanuel, the infinite God-with-us, who guides and sustains us today. Even when we might feel our world coming apart, Jesus holds us together! This is the song I joyfully sing!

PONDER:

  • How have you experienced Jesus holding your life together?
  • Are you feeling the need for Jesus to hold you together today? If so, talkto Him about it.
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