Christ the Head; December 19, 2017

Colossians 1:17-18 He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy.

I’m getting two things from this as I read it right now. The first thing is the answer to a major question of astrophysicists: what holds the universe together? The term, “cosmic glue” has been used, and recently we hear discussion of “dark matter” and “dark energy.” It’s not wrong for scientists to investigate such things, but here we have the ultimate answer: Christ the Lord. Just as He told His disciples, “Apart from me you can do nothing,” (John 15:5) the same applies to the whole universe: apart from Christ it couldn’t and wouldn’t exist. That’s a far stretch for a lot of people, not to mention those who don’t want to accept the existence of God at all! However, it’s one of those truths that is there whether we believe it or not. The other thing I get is more immediate and personal, and that is the Headship of Christ over the Church. We have all sorts of human organizations that purport to be the Church, but denominational labels don’t begin to define the Church. Christ’s Headship applies all the way down to the local level. We tend to think of pastors and priests as the heads of their respective congregations, but in reality they are more like janitors. They have responsibilities, duties, and rewards, but they aren’t in charge. At the same time, the congregations themselves aren’t in charge. When in a person the body won’t do what the head tells it, that’s a major medical problem and is called paralysis or a number of other things. Local congregations get into all sorts of problems over this issue, ranging from dictatorships to anarchy. We don’t have the physical neurons connecting us to the Head, so each part is responsible to seek the Head and listen to Him. The Bible is clear that pastors are shepherds responsible for the flock, and as such they have spiritual authority, but they must remember that Jesus is the Chief Shepherd, (1 Peter 5:4) and they are subject to and accountable to Him.

This is an intensely personal and timely issue at the moment. This congregation is in a crisis of leadership. For various reasons I failed to prepare the flock properly for a major move, and now some are in open revolt. For a congregation as small as this, that threatens the complete dissolution of the church. I have made major mistakes, but there are many other factors in play as well. The source of it all is the enemy of our souls, who is dead set against this church growing and maturing and advancing the Kingdom of God. I have got to remember at every juncture that Christ is the Head, and be active both in my submission and my obedience to Him. Objectively speaking, it is fascinating how this sort of thing arises when money is involved. Our faith and our obedience are both challenged by money issues, which is why Jesus talked more about money than about heaven or hell. I’ve got to operate in full humility, but at the same time not try to duck the responsibility God has given me as shepherd of this flock. God is going to bring us through this, but I certainly can’t do it myself. I must remember that people are never the enemy, but also never slack off in resisting the devil, who is indeed the enemy of our souls.

Father, the battle is intense, and the temptation to throw in the towel is very real. Thank You for those who are praying for us. Thank You that Jesus is interceding for us, as You reminded me two days ago. You have told me to rest, relax, and rejoice. That is humanly very difficult indeed, but by faith I know that “I can do everything through him who gives me strength.” (Philippians 4:13) Thank You. Praise God!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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2 Responses to Christ the Head; December 19, 2017

  1. Brother, I am in total agreement with what you have shared here. I will pray for you and for the Lord to have His perfect will in this matter. God bless you as you rest in Him. Faith is the requirement for all of us calling Him LORD. I know he is aware of everyone’s hearts, yours as well and He does care about what concerns you. Lord richly bless you brother.

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