We are all inclined to boast, some are more subtle than others. Paul really goes for it in Colossians 1:17-18, starting with a John-like comment about Christ existing before all things and holding everything together, he then says that Jesus is head of the church before returning to speak of the beginning and Christ’s supremacy over everything.
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.
(Colossians 1:17-18 ESV)
What makes this boasting OK is that it is true – Jesus is all this.
I find it interesting how Paul structured this passage – I’m no literary scholar but even I can see the pattern:
Even the larger context of Colossians 1:15-20 has this movement, with emphasis weighted on beginnings/creation in verses 15-17 and on the church and reconciliation in verses 18-20. Paul seems to use our ready comprehension of the authority and power of Christ displayed as Creator to point out the even greater majesty and glory of his being the head of the church.
This puts caring for, serving, honouring, shepherding and loving the church into awesome perspective, doesn’t it?