Day 10

December 6

December 6

Colossians 1:15-20

15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation, 16 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. 17 He himself is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18 He is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that he might come to have first place in everything. 19 For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, 20 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.

The Truth That Holds All Things Together

by David Winkler, Graduate School Association President

The Advent season is a time for hope. Each new year brings with it a blank slate, a chance to make the best of a fresh start. What a refreshing hope we experience because of our Savior Jesus Christ. Through Him, all things hold together. In the six verses above, Paul shares seven creedal truths through a hymn that celebrates Christ’s winsomeness, authority, and supremacy over all things.

Christ is:

  • The image of God
  • The Firstborn over Creation
  • Creator of the universe
  • Head of the church
  • Firstborn from the dead
  • The Reconciler of all things

As a graduate student, I spend a lot of time doing research. Okay, I spend all my time doing research—but I really love it. I get to discover and learn new things regularly. In its most basic form, research is simply the search for truth. When we discover truth, we document, interpret, and report it for the benefit and direction of the academic discipline within which we are working. Truth is consequential and has meaning. It spurs on further searches for truth. Surely the early church was also searching for truth following the resurrection and ascension of Christ. Paul’s words served as direction and guidance for early Christians by instilling and reifying that truth.

Paul proclaims Christ as the “image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation.” In Genesis 1 we learn that humankind is made in God’s image. Our identity rests in Him because we were made to be like Him—to reflect Him. But Paul tells us that Christ is God’s very image—the real thing. That Christ is the image of God is of great consequence. It means all things were created through Him (di’ autou) and for Him (eis auton), and by Him (en auto) all things are held together. Christ is the Creator and initiator of Creation; the final cause and purpose for Creation; the conserver and sustainer of Creation. Christ is the perfect manifestation of the fullness of God. He is the truth.

Because He is truth, our greatest hope lies in the final verse of this passage: Christ is our reconciler. By His obedience, even unto His own suffering and death, Christ made the offering we could not make. In Him we are freed from the power of sin and reconciled to God. As we celebrate the Advent season and the birth of Christ, we celebrate this hope. Christ made peace by reconciling all things to Himself through His blood shed on the cross. His resurrection brought about a clean slate and new beginning for humankind. The truth is, our greatest hope is in Christ. And that is a truth worth sharing and celebrating.

Note: If you enjoy music that employs the use of Scripture and hymns like Paul’s above, I would encourage you to listen to Andrew Peterson’s track "All Things Together." I find that music often brings refreshing perspectives to old truths. I hope you will listen and be refreshed by the words of Scripture.

Learn More About Our Guest Writer

David Winkler, Graduate School Association PresidentDavid Winkler, Graduate School Association President

David A. Winkler is a fourth year Ph.D. candidate in Baylor’s Higher Education Studies & Leadership program. He earned his Master of Arts in Christian Education at Dallas Theological Seminary. David’s research focuses on how doctoral students construct and reconcile their sense of self-worth with their developing doctoral and academic identity. David’s other research interests include ungrading, the integration of faith and learning, moral character development, and university presidential leadership.

David is the Schmeltekopf Fellow for Educational Leadership in the Graduate School as well as President of the Baylor Graduate Student Association. When not dissertating, David enjoys baking, photography, cheering on Baylor Athletics, and spending time with friends and family. He lives in Waco with his wife, Caroline; son, Harris; and corgi, Millie.