Theme of the Week: Reconciliation
Bible Verse: “For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God.” Romans 8:20-21
Scripture Reading: Romans 8:1-39
We have been living at our house for about 10 years. One of the things I was most excited about moving from apartment living to our own home was starting a garden. The first garden we dug was about 2 feet by 4 feet. Just enough room for two tomato plants and two pepper plants. Over the next few years, we grew the garden until its final size of 20’ x 30’. We grow a wide variety of things . . . or at least we attempt to.
For any of you that have a garden, you know that the curse pronounced on Adam, that the earth would produce only through toil and the sweat of the brow, is utterly true. Ironically, I’m a bit of a fatalist when it comes to this. I look at the weeds that grow, taking the nutrients from the food plants, encroaching on spaces they are not wanted or intended, and think to myself, it’s just the way of it. I have a hard time imagining that it hasn’t always been this way and that it is just the way it’s supposed to be.
But Scripture tells us that creation is also groaning. Not only is the interaction between humanity and creation strained, so that only through hard work does the land produce what we want it to, but creation itself doesn’t necessarily function correctly.
Difficult to say what exactly Paul means when he writes that creation is groaning and was subject to frustration. What is clearer is that creation is waiting to be set right in a similar way to humanity. There is something off within the creation so that it is waiting to be “liberated from its bondage.”
Creation is awaiting reconciliation from its own conflict. As the children of God are revealed and brought into glory and freedom, creation experiences its own freedom. Peter and John (in Revelation) both write about the new heavens and the new earth. One day, creation will no longer be frustrated and decaying. Instead, it will bask in the freedom that comes with God’s kingdom. Until the day God renews it, we work to recognize the liberation for creation that God intended with His creation.
Prayer: Creator God, when we walked away from you, we broke your good creation. Now we work to restore and reconcile creation to your good intentions. Help me to see where and how I can work to be a good steward of your good creation.
Reflection: What can you stop or start doing to work for the good of creation?
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