We all have moments in life which cause us to look back in life…
Maybe it’s your birthday.
Maybe it’s an anniversary.
Maybe it’s when you finish the school year.
Maybe it’s when you move to a new city.
Maybe it’s when you hear an old familiar song.
Maybe it’s when someone passes away.
Maybe it’s when you encounter a particular person.
Maybe it’s when you visit your old neighbourhood.
Maybe it’s simply every night as you lay in bed.
When we go through life, we are hit with experiences that come at us like disjointed fragments that can’t always be pieced together in the moment. With all the drama, tragedy, heartbreak, and pain life brings, it’s hard to bring unity to everything when our eyes are only fixed on seeing, interpreting, or replaying the story a certain way. Sometimes it’s impossible to see these experiences any other way while we are enduring them. Is there a way to see, interpret, and replay the story that could allow us to retell the experience of the drama, tragedy, heartbreak, and pain?
When Paul writes to the church of Ephesus, he starts off by telling everyone about the God of Israel who blesses us with every spiritual blessing, who has chosen us, and who has made us His children. He talks about God’s grace, redemption, and the forgiveness He lavishes onto us, which – in that time to these Greek-ish people – still would have been a new way to view God.
He then says, “With all wisdom and understanding, he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, to be put into effect when the times reach their fulfillment—to bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ”
In other words, God is up to something in this world through Christ. Everything is unfolding towards something which will bring unity to all things in Heaven and on Earth under Christ.
The word for “unity” in Greek is anakephalaiosasthai which is only used twice in the entire Bible.It’s the summing up of all things… light, dark, beauty, and pain, bringing them all into unity. By putting a new head on it – a new centre to redeem all things. Some scholars look at this word almost like a mathematical term as you sum everything up. If you take the equation 8+10-7+2-5….Once you anakephalaiosasthai everything…Once you bring everything into unity…Once you sum it all up, you view everything as +8. However, if you don’t sum it all up…if you don’t bring everything into unity…if you don’t anakephalaiosasthai everything, then it can be very easy to focus on just the -7 or the -5 as you make the negatives your sole focus point and allow that to be “everything”. When we do this, we are leaving out the positives which will deeply affect and shape how we interpret everything as our eyes are only fixed on seeing things a certain way.
This can deeply affect and shape…
How we view God
How we walk in peace
How we experience joy
How we handle forgiveness
How we move forward
How often do we interpret moments, events, or seasons in our life this way?
We sometimes only focus on the drama, tragedy, heartbreak, and pain, which blinds us from all the other pieces in these same moments, events, and seasons, which could quite possibly help us retell the same story in a different light by putting a new centre around it as we look back and sum it all up.
If we had the disciples tell the story of Jesus’ death hours after He died, they to would most likely have fixed their eyes on seeing, interpreting, and replaying the story a certain way. Jesus was killed…the cross continues to be a successful execution device used by the Roman Empire…He’s in the tomb…He’s dead. However, as time went on and as the disciples were able to bring everything into unity…to sum everything up…to put a new centre around this event…they would retell the story with Jesus rising from the dead three days later, which clearly changes how we see, interpret, and replay this story since they anakephalaiosasthai everything. It allows us to retell the story and changes how we see His death, the Cross, and the tomb.
With your story …How can you anakephalaiosasthai everything?
– You can look at your struggles with suicide, or you could look at the fact that you made it through and that you’re here today.
– You can look at your 58% average as barely getting by, or you could look at it as you made it to the next grade which gives you the opportunity to receive more education, which is a luxury in this world as it is.
You can look at the tragic death of a loved one you were close to, or you could look at how big of an impact that person made in your life, which reflects who you are today.
You can look at the one person you regret sleeping with when you said yes in a weak moment, or you could look at all the people you chose not to sleep with by saying no because you were strong.
You can look at your one child who walked away from Christ, or you could look at your other children who are still walking with Him.
You can look at the bad experience you had at church, or you could look at the fact you are reading this Christian blog and clearly haven’t completely written God off.
You can look at how you have been single the past 7 years, or you can look at how that time has allowed you to grow into the individual you are today.
You can look at how your friend betrayed you, or you can look at how that same friend was with you every step of the way in your most needy moments.
You can look at how you had the worst job experience of your life or you can look at that job giving you an income, and more experience than you had before.
You can look at how your mom and dad were terrible parents, or you can look at they still raised you, fed you and blessed you more than you may ever know.
When we anakephalaiosasthai everything, we are not taking out the drama, tragedy, heartbreak, or pain when we retell our story.
It’s not about pretending it didn’t happen, or that it didn’t hurt. It’s not about forgetting hardship and getting rid of the worst moments. It’s about embracing everything, acknowledging that it was what is was. And as we sum it up, through Christ we bring everything into unity in Heaven and on Earth under Him.
Is there another way to retell your story which you have been fixed on seeing, interpreting, and replaying in some other way as you anakephalaiosasthai everything?