Posted by Fred J. Heumann on 23 October 2014

JESUS AT THE CENTER

Song written by:Israel Houghton, Micah Massey and Adam Ranney

Jesus at the center of it all
Jesus at the center of it all
From beginning to the end
It will always be it's always been You Jesus, Jesus
 
Nothing else matters, nothing in this world will do
Jesus You're the center
Everything revolves around You
At the center of it all, the center of it all

 
Jesus be the center of my life
Jesus be the center of my life
From beginning to the end
It will always be it's always been You Jesus, Jesus
 
From my heart to the heavens, Jesus be the center
It's all about You, yes it's all about You
 
Jesus be the center of Your Church
Jesus be the center of Your Church
And every knee will bow
And every tongue shall confess You Jesus, Jesus

“He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by Him all things were created:things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by Him and for Him.

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.

For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in Him, and through Him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven,
by making peace through His blood, shed on the cross.”

Colossians 1:15-20, NIV

Paul was writing this letter to the church in Colossae, and after personal greetings, started expressing his prayer for the Colossian believers. All of a sudden, in verses 15-20, he breaks into an existing hymn of praise, quoting a worship song that they could very well be familiar with. It’s a song that celebrates Jesus as the center of all creation and the center of His Body, the Church!

It’s not the only time that songs are likely quoted in the New Testament, especially regarding the person of Jesus. Passages like:

  • John 1:1-18 (In the beginning was the Word...)

  • Philippians 2:5-11 (That at the name of Jesus, every knee will bow...)

  • Revelation 1:5-8 (To Him who loves us...), and

  • Revelation 22:16-22 (The Spirit and the Bride say “Come”...)

    ...are all songs focusing on the person and supremacy of Jesus as more than just the guy they knew from Galilee, but God Himself–the risen Creator and Redeemer of the world.

    It’s pretty obvious that believers in the early church needed extra reinforcement to help express their wonder and awe at God become flesh and living among them. Imagine being one who walked and talked with Jesus in his years of ministry on the dusty roads of Israel and then saw Him die, rise again and ascend into heaven. That’s more than enough motivation for overwhelmed, passionate worship!

The itinerant rabbi they knew is also the One “by (whom) all things were created.” He is the “firstborn over all creation” and the “firstborn from among the dead.” As “the image of the invisible God,” He holds all things together. Jesus is central. Singing out the truth of what they knew only cemented it further in their hearts and spirits, and was a good way to communicate the truth to others as they reached out across the known world with that Good News.

Today, we need the same thing. The content of our worship should tell the story of God’s interaction with man, and of the reconciliation brought us in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus, God-with-us. It should reinforce the truth for us. It should lead us into responding to the gracious love of God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength. We need both songs of content and songs of response to allow us to do that.

JESUS AT THE CENTER is a very specific song of response based on the truths expressed in this early hymn of praise. Let it remind you that He is Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, at the center of it all. He is the head of all that He created and of the Church He redeemed–and He is to be the center of our lives.

I think Paul (and the Colossians) might just sing along...

For thought...

• Are you self-centered, or Jesus-centered? Get a fresh picture of Him at the center as you mediate on Colossians 1:11-20 and worship.
• Even a simple song of dedication and commitment like this one can carry and communicate important spiritual truth. What truth does it communicate to you and what areas of your heart does it touch?

• If you’re a songwriter, consider taking part of this Colossians hymn, or one of the other New Testament hymn passages mentioned and building a song around it.

--Fred J. Heumann

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