and for all creation he is the ﬁrstborn,
for in him all things were created,in heaven and on earth,visible and invisible:thrones, rulers, authorities, powers…All was made through him and forhim.
He is before alland all things hold together in him.
And he is the head of the body,that is the Church,for he is the ﬁrst, the ﬁrst raisedfrom the deadthat he may be the ﬁrst in everything,
for God was pleased to let fullnessdwell in him.
Through him God willed toreconcile all things to himself,and through him, through his bloodshed on the cross,God establishes peace,on earth as in heaven.•
You yourselves were once es-tranged and opposed to God be-cause of your evil deeds,
but nowGod has reconciled you in the hu-man body of his Son through hisdeath, so that you may be withoutfault, holy and blameless beforehim.
Only stand ﬁrm, upon thefoundation of your faith, and besteadfast in hope. Keep in mind theGospel you have heard, which hasbeen preached to every creatureunder heaven, and of which I, Paul,became a minister.
At present I rejoice when I sufferfor you; I complete in my own ﬂeshwhat is lacking in the sufferings of Christ for the sake of his body, whichis the Church.
For I am serving theChurch since God entrusted to methe ministry to make the word of God fully known.
I mean that mys-
In Galatians 4:1-5 Paul recognizes that thehistory of humanity has been deeply markedby natural and social forces that he does notname. He also afﬁrms that since the resurrec-tion of Jesus, it is he who has in hand all themovement of history (Rev 5:3-5). Somethingthat may astonish those among us who thinkall history is the responsibility of humankind.In one sense, they are right but on conditionthat they do not forget the
, the onewho has already come to the end of historyand of whom we say he is Lord (Phil 2:11) ofhistory.
He is the image of the unseen God
. Weshould not imagine that God has a humanform beyond the clouds, and that Jesus is hisimage; human creature is the image of God,but God is not in the image of human crea-ture.In all that he is and in all that he does, Christamong us is the perfect image of the Fatherand of his mercy: his actions reveal God’s wayof thinking and acting. Already before he be-came man, the Son of God existed in God, asthe eternal and invisible image of God eternaland invisible, the radiance of the glory of theFather (Heb 1:3), the Expression or Word ofGod (Jn 1:1).
For all creation, he is the ﬁrstborn
. Wetake this word in its biblical sense. He is notthe ﬁrst of many creatures, but the one whohas a place apart. In his human nature, Christis a Galilean Jew, a descendant of David. Hisperson, however, is rooted in God and is pre-sented to us as the model and the
notof people but of all creation.
God was pleased to let fullness dwell inhim
who is the only bridge between God andthe universe. The fullness of God is in him tobe communicated to the universe, and the full-ness of the universe will be found in him whenall human beings are reconciled and reunited inhim.
All was made through him
: John 1:1 andHebrews 1:2.
And was the ﬁrst raised…
Paul says moreprecisely “and as the ﬁrst fruits offered to God,was raised” (as in 1 Cor 15:23). He has notcome only for the forgiveness of sins, but for a“passover,” a passage from death to life, andhis resurrection after his total abandonment tohis Father was a ﬁrst necessary step so that wetoo would have a resurrection.
God willed to reconcile
. Once again thework of Christ is presented as reconciliation:reconciliation between people (2 Cor 5:17-21)and reconciliation of the whole of creation.• 21. Paul now requires the Colossians tokeep their feet on the ground. Do not wasteyour time imagining struggles between celes-tial beings and evil ones. The struggle is here
Jn 1:3;Heb 1:2;1Cor 8:6Rom8:29Jn 8:58Eph 1:22;4:15;5:232:9;Eph 1:23;Jn 1:16;Eph 1:10;Rom5:10;2Cor5:18;Eph 2:14Eph 4:18;2:1Eph 5:211Cor15:58;Mk16:15;1Tim3:16Acts9:16;2Cor4:102Cor 3:6Mk13:10;