Waiting on Restoration

Photo Credit: deeksdj via Compfight cc
Photo Credit: deeksdj via Compfight cc

No more let sins and sorrows grow,
Nor thorns infest the ground;
He comes to make His blessings
Far as the curse is found,
Far as the curse is found,
Far as, far as, the curse is found.1

The world is broken, and in my last post I wrote about the broken relationship between people. When we look at scripture, however, we also see that the earth itself is damaged. In Genesis 3, the ground was cursed and began to produce thorns and thistles. Paul tells us in Romans 8 that all of creation is waiting for redemption and to be restored at the return of Christ.

In the beginning, God made all things good. All of creation was good. When we sinned, all of creation fell under the curse of sin and death. When Jesus came into the world not only did he bring hope to humanity, but to also to creation itself. Paul calls Jesus the second Adam. He is the firstborn of the new creation, his return will not only bring about the restoration of humanity, but all of Creation. Revelation 21 and 22 gives a picture of a world that has been made new. Jesus says in chapter 21 that he is making all things new, and chapter 22 tells us that there will be no more curse.

The world is a beautiful and wonderful place. I haven’t travel outside of North America, but I’ve been enough places to know that this world still is beautiful. I’ve seen the beauty of the ocean in California, Maine, and Florida. I’ve seen the beauty of the mountains in Colorado and the beauty of the plains in the midwest. This world that God created is amazing, and I am waiting on the restoration of all things. If our world is this beautiful under the curse, I cannot even imagine how beautiful it will be when Jesus makes all things new again.

In the meantime, we need to be a people of restoration. Restoration began with the first coming of Jesus. He loosened the grip of the curse on this world. When we choose to follow Jesus we become new creations. We live to help bring about the reconciliation and restoration that Jesus’ second coming will complete. Jesus is already king, he is at work reconciling, and, as he says in Revelation, he is making all things new.

O King of nations, your reign spreads through all the lands,
you defend the cause of the poor and plead for the wretched of the earth.
Fashion us into an obedient people, that we may spread the good news
of your reign of perfect peace and justice, until all creation will finally rejoice in your perfect will,
until all bend the knee to the King of kings and Lord of lords,
in whose name we pray, even Jesus Christ, your Son and our Savior. Amen. 2

1 From Joy to the World
2 The Worship Sourcebook (Grand Rapids, MI: Calvin Institute of Christian Worship, 2004) 463.

The Importance of Resurrection

The Resurrection of Christ, by Unknown Icon Painter, Bulgarian, Public Domain
The Resurrection of Christ, by Unknown Icon Painter, Bulgarian, Public Domain

This past weekend, we celebrated the Resurrection of Jesus, one of the biggest holy days of the Christian year. As followers of Jesus, however, what do we do with the resurrection? Yes, of course, we believe it and we celebrate it, but what do we do about it? A fairly typical discussion of the resurrection and it’s result goes like this, “Jesus died, was buried, and rose again. Because he defeated death, we get to defeat death too. I can’t wait until the resurrection, then I’ll have a new body.”

While I believe that every part of that statement is true, I believe that there is more to the discussion than only the future hope of the resurrection. So here’s the question that we all need to work through, if the resurrection is true, how does this affect our present reality? continue reading

A Brief Reflection for Earth Day

Photo Credit: NASA Goddard Photo and Video via Compfight cc
Photo Credit: NASA Goddard Photo and Video via Compfight cc

Today is Earth Day. For most Christians, this an ordinary day and many will probably fail to recognize the day, but I think it is appropriate for Christians to celebrate the day more than anyone else. We are in the Easter Season (the time between Resurrection Sunday and Pentecost) and have just gathered to celebrate the resurrection. I believe we ought to celebrate not because the earth is divine, but because God made it. We should celebrate because the resurrection of Jesus began the process to restore all that was broken, including the earth. Continue reading