July 29, 2006

All Creation Groans

Romans 8:18-25

"The creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed." Romans 8:19


An old hymn says it beautifully: "This is my Father's world, and to my listening ears all nature sings and round me rings the music of the spheres." Have you experienced how the creation itself sings? It's wonderful! But you might also hear a note in a minor key here and there. With the singing, God's creation is also groaning.

This became clear to me again recently at a wild animal park we visited. We saw magnificent animals, such as the Asian rhino. Music! But we learned they are near extinction, with only 300 left in the wild. Groaning! The strains of environmental pollution, political corruption, and social alienation make for a sad song.

But Paul reminds us that there is good news for this groaning world. God's mission is not just the saving of souls but also the liberation of his whole creation. God is at work in Christ to reconcile people not only to himself but also to each other and to the natural world.

If you listen closely, you might also hear a quiet rest in the music, for Paul says the creation is also waiting for the "sons of God to be revealed." As a friend reminded me, we are those children of God--and we are already here! So let's get busy addressing the groans of creation in politics, economics, environment, and all other fields in which the Lord has placed us to work.

Creator God, we have spoiled not only ourselves but also your entire, good creation. Forgive us, we pray, and use us in Christ to work toward putting things right. Amen.

About the author — Tim Holwerda

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