Week 3: Christ-Centered Praise

Colossians 1:15–20 (ESV)

15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. 16 For by 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. 18 And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. 19 For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, 20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.

What is your favorite worship song?

If you are wondering why I’m asking that question, it’s because many scholars believe that our passage for this week, the one that you hopefully just read, was an ancient hymn. If you go back and read the passage again with this in mind, you can begin to identify its poetic flow, for sure. Now that you know this, if you’re like me, you probably have a ton of questions. Wondering what it sounded like. What was the melody? What key was it sung in? Was it up-tempo or contemplative?  We obviously don’t know the answers to these questions, but we do know that it was popular enough to make the New Testament’s top five songs. I can say that with confidence because, out of the 185 songs in the Bible, only five are recorded in the New Testament. Colossians 1:15-20 joins Philippians 2:5-22, 1 Timothy 3:16, Hebrews 1:1-3, and 1 Peter 2:21-25 as canonized hymns.

Seriously, how awesome would it be to write a song that was recorded in the Bible? How did a song get selected? What is the criteria? Well, one thing we know for sure is that the Holy Spirit worked in the authors to select and to write them. The other thing that becomes obvious as you read them is that they all exalt Christ. They declare His deity, His greatness, His power, His work of redemption, and future glory.

Perhaps in honor of our passage this week, we could all write a song or poem of praise to the Lord. However, if hymn writing isn’t your thing, as it’s not for me, then feel free to join me in meditating on the hymn we’ll be studying this Sunday. As you do, take note of how it speaks of the preeminence and centrality of Jesus. This week, we will learn how Jesus is at the center of our praise. I can’t wait to lift Christ high and to center all of our adoration on HIm.

Click here to listen to the worship set for Sunday.

I am praying for you!