“I’m falling apart at the seams,” says the harassed housewife. “My world is falling apart,” declares a traumatised young person in a romance that is going wrong. “South Africa is going to fall apart,” warns the political prophet. “Homes and marriages are falling apart at an alarming rate,” observes the sociologist.
The 2000s may well be remembered as a season when everything fell apart. A host of ills seems to be tearing at the very bowels of civilization. Fragmentation and disintegration seem to be the name of the game, whether at the corporate and social level, or at the personal. We all know many tearing struggles that afflict our daily lives.
How wonderful, by contrast, is St Paul’s statement that “In Him (Christ) all things hold together” (Colossians 1:17). In a fragmenting and dislocated world, it is great news indeed that there is any person or means by which individuals, groups or things can be held together. For the Christian Jesus is the key. For “in Him,” all things hold together.
- In Him the Universe holds together. The very word universe implies one reality which holds together in a coherent whole. The universe is not falling apart at the seams, because its creator holds it together and that creator is Jesus Christ. “In Him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible…all things were created through Him and for Him. He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together…For in Him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell” (Colossians 1:16-17). St John says of Jesus, “All things were made through Him, and without Him was not anything made that was made” (John 1:3). If He holds the universe together, can He not hold together your life and mine? Your family and mine?
- In Him History holds together. With history apparently on collision course with catastrophe, moderns are tearing their hair out as to where it will all end. Nuclear conflagration? Extinction? Death by degrees? No. Jesus is in control. In Him history holds together. History BC has its inner thread in the world’s preparation for His first coming. History AD has its inner thread in its movement towards His second coming, “I will come again,” said Jesus (John 14:3). Indeed, in Christ is God’s “plan for the fullness of time,” – a plan “to unite all things in Him, things in heaven and things on earth” (Ephesians 1:10).
- In Him our country holds together. Only in Christ can race barriers tumble and people be united. “In Christ,” says St Paul, “there is neither Jew nor Greek, bond or free, male or female: for you are all one in Christ Jesus” (Galatians 3:28). Jesus has broken down the middle wall of partition between peoples. Spiritual revival and renewal is the one great hope for Africa. In that atmosphere, the atmosphere of Jesus Christ, answers and healing will be found. “Ex unitate vires” will have no truth, substance or possibility outside of Christ.
- In Him homes hold together. It is a cliché, but by and large a true one, that the homes that pray together stay together. I have often seen Christ heal fractured homes and marriages. At the centre of a marriage, Jesus can truly bring forgiveness, unity and love.
- In Him you and I hold together. Into our personal dividedness Jesus brings wholeness and harmony. A CD disc with its hole off centre will only produce chaotic and discordant noise. With the centre right, out comes harmony and music. As we let Jesus reign at the centre of our lives, He restores inner harmony and equilibrium. We cease to be a walking civil war. St Paul in his conversion knew that experience too. In short he knew that in Christ all things hold together. And that includes you, and me.