Having reflected on my last entry on the state of the creation and expressed my struggle with the phrase in Genesis1:31 that”God saw everything that he had made, and indeed,it was very good.” Today I reflect on the impact of my faith journey as I live in a world that seem so contrary to that initial statement on the goodness of creation. Some of my insight comes from the Apostle who having experienced the brokenness in the creation concluded that it was not all good but also provided a perspective which I have found to be inspiring and assuring as I live out my faith.
Paul says that the same creator God who was responsible for the creation did not abandon the creation to its own demise but that instead he chose to deal decisively with what went wrong in Genesis 3. While acknowledging that things are not all good and citing the present sufferings as evidence of things not being “all good” Paul however, admonishes his readers that these sufferings cannot be compared with the coming glory. “For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the children of God; for creation was subjected to futility, not of its own will but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to decay and will obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God” (Rom. 8:19-21).
Paul says that when humans chose to worship parts of creation instead of the creator (Rom. 1:21-23), creation fell into despair. God allowed this state of slavery to continue, not because the creation wanted to be like that but because he determined eventually to restore the whole creation according to the original plan. Paul argues from Israels’ history that just as, when Israel let him down, he did not change his plan, but sent a faithful Israelite named Jesus of Nazareth to accomplish the task to which Israel was called for but failed to accomplish.
There is hope for the renewal of all creation a hope for which the exodus from Egyptian bondage was an earlier example or indicator. As a result, all that Israel hoped for, is true of all those who are in Christ. The creation is not the creator, but it is designed to be filled with the power of the creator: the Spirit will liberate the whole creation, in order that the Messiah might be the firstborn among many siblings (Rom. 8:29). The plan is for human beings especially Christians to take their place under God and worship the creator and exercise glorious stewardship over the world. The church is called to share both the pain of birth-pangs and the hope to come. We should continue to remember that our circumstances in no way derails God’s promises for our lives and for the creation.
I am encouraged today as I know through the witness of Scriptures and through my own faith journey that God makes promises and fulfills those promises and that according to his word, all creation is being renewed through the life, teachings, death and the resurrection of Jesus Christ and will be completely renewed on his return. Meanwhile the church continues that work of renewal through Jesus who is present in the Holy Spirit as it follows Christ faithfully in word and deed. Yes, it will be all good again. Amen!!