You Go First, No, You Go First
He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation.
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.
And 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, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent.
For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell,
and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.
Whenever we go into a new place, whether is a campground at Lincoln State Park or some new store opening up somewhere, our family has a structure to who goes first. If it’s neat and fun, you know the kids will lead the way. If it’s hoity-toity, mommy is leading the way. If it’s scary or uncharted, dad is looking around with a gap behind him. When we’re on a college campus the college kid leads and if it’s a missionary kid, the rest of the family follows the missionary kid’s lead everywhere.
So what does it mean that Jesus, the Son of God, is preeminent?
It means He always goes first. He is first-place in everything. He has suffered more, experienced more joy, whatever. He’s the first.
One time I was having a hard time in my job. A friend told me, “Jesus is the smartest web designer ever. Ask Him for help.”
I made it a habit, every day, with every problem of code or difficulty designing, to ask Jesus for help. There was no flash or fireworks, and I’m not saying my website code was divinely inspired, but at least I got to offer that work up to Jesus and actually spend time with Him while I did it. I’m not sure what all He did, but I know that the experience was different because I shared it with Christ. I didn’t put Him first, I recognized that He was already first.
Because He is the proto-human, the first in everything, we can call on His name for help with everything. He is too humble to answer us with “yep, been there, done that” but He could if He wanted. He has experienced the dynamic equivalent of every single thing that we’ll ever experience — even death.
Get in the habit of asking Jesus, “What are You doing right now about this?” and watch. We grow a lot when we learn that a deep part of worship isn’t singing, but listening and being attentive to what our Firstborn Leader is doing.