HOLDING IT TOGETHER
He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.
-Colossians 1:17 NIV
So did you see that pitiful mess of a tree they hauled in to Rockefeller Center last week? It was one sad looking thing…big gaps in the branches…looked like it had been through a bad storm.
“You wait,” I said. “By the time they turn the lights on for the tv cameras, that tree will look like the most perfect thing that ever grew in a forest. It will be nailed up, wired up, and its branches will all be held together in the right place.”
I know this from personal experience. Certainly not with a tree that size, but with the Christmas trees of my childhood. It was always a big adventure when Daddy would take us out to the woods. We would tramp through the soft Florida sand, examining every pine tree that showed possibility until we found the best one. In my memory, the best one usually bore resemblance to that Rockefeller tree. I always had my doubts about how Santa would feel about our tree.
“Don’t you worry,” Daddy would say. “I’ll fix it all up pretty.” And he would go to work with fishing line and string and a nail here and there and pretty soon we had a tree worth decorating.
All because of what was holding it together.
Our modern celebrations of Christmas are so much about image…about how things look and the fantasy they create. We want perfect…pretty. At least, on the outside. The key is, what’s holding it together on the inside? What’s happening in those places where nobody sees?
Paul assured the Colossians that Jesus was the beginning of creation and the goal of creation. He’s holding it all together. We are part of that creation and we can count on his strength to hold us, too. Whatever is happening on the outside…things falling apart, falling off, coming unglued, disappointing, hurting, failing…in short, when Life is not the beautiful Garden of Eden that we want it to be…if we have Jesus there is a lifeline holding us together. Like all the rope and nails that will be holding that Rockefeller tree together it’s…Jesus. There is power in that name.
What a beautiful name it is.