Friday, Jan 11, 2019. What is giving structure to our world, to creation? Today we explore nature by natural sciences as well as engineering sciences. We describe the phenomena as result of basic laws, which govern the dynamics of basically everything that is. These laws usually are given by either differential equations or by statistical relationships, which give shape to the random processes we observe.
Biblical View …
The biblical view sees God at work in all creation. The bible does not have a problem with structure or with natural laws. On the contrary! The bible is quite oriented towards the physical world and all what is in it. But it is not only looking into the physical world. It is also describing what is going on beyond it and it looks at the way it works from a particular viewpoint.
The Role of Christ Jesus in creation is taken up at several places in the New Testament. One is the beginning of the gospel of John, another one is the letter of Paul to the church in Kollossae. In 1 Kol, the apostle Paul writes:
15 He [Jesus] is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. 16 For by [in] him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. 17 And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. (1 Kol3 1, 15)
We have run into a quite far reaching text of basic nature. It is about very basic things, going deep into our existence and life. At the same time, it is a highly political passage, very important, very practical, questioning the role and purpose of authority. But let us go step by step …
In HIS Image …
What is said here? Christ is the image of the invisible God. But more than that, he is “the firstborn” of all creation. Let us sort that for a moment. Jesus was born around the year zero of our modern time recording (potentially in year -4 or -3, this is debated by different authors). So in what sense is he the firstborn?
In the book Genesis (Mose 1), it is written: So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. (1 Mose 1, 27) Humans are created in the image of God. In 1 Kol this is now said about Christ, and he is called born, not created.
The apostle Paul tells us the same that John tells us in his gospel. Jesus was there before creation. He was the acting part of creation. All things were made by him or in him. Here, creation means both the visible world and the invisible world.
There is another aspect here: Paul talks about authorities, about thrones, about dominions, rulers. They are also created, through him and for him. Authority is there, but it is created for him. We all with our authority are made to work in his sense, in his spirit, in his image!
A final thought: he holds all things together. Are natural laws an active act of God? What is keeping them active? What is making them work? To us, they are given, the fundament of our world, of dynamics, of processes. They are all in Christ.
So let our day be what Paul writes: be alife in him and through him and for him. He is bringing light and truth and mercy and love into it. (Roland Potthast) ... further texts