From whales to waterfalls, the whole created order has in principle been reconciled to God. Like a sovereign making a proclamation and sending off his heralds to bear it to the distant corners of his empire, God has in Jesus Christ proclaimed once and for all that the world which he made has been reconciled to him. His heralds, scurrying off to the ends of the earth with the news, are simply agents, messengers, of this one antecedent authoritative proclamation.
N.T. Wright in TNTC: Colossians and Philemon (on Colossians 1:23), p 85.