Sunday, April 27, 2014

Don't let "life after death" blind you to "life before death!"

21 Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth,”[a] for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away...
Rev: 21

My latest read is Surprised by HOPE, a book by N. T. Wright. I was smart enough to
buy this book for a friend who is a whole lot smarter than I because it isn't an easy read.
So I hesitate, having written that, to paraphrase what this splendid author is saying; however, here goes.

He emphasizes that the whole history of creation changed with the Resurrection of Jesus
Christ, ushering in, as he puts it, the resurrection of all creation. So the wish for the
future is not limited to God's creation of man being saved but the entirety of God's
creation being changed into what was its original purpose.

Now, out of that, I want to touch on two items that relate to the title of this blog. In our
emphasis on the fallen nature of this world, a fact that isn't debatable, we may become
so entrenched on living in the hope of our life after death that we mentally "throw away"
our life here. Regardless of what ones hears about us not being of this world, we do, in
fact, reside in the world that God created and called very good.

One aspect of this, it seems to me, is simply in our lack of appreciation for what beauty
exists on this earth. if we are marching toward our eventual "trip" to heaven and
the loosing of the binds that tie us to this planet, we can easily miss glorifying the
amazement of this place. We can become numb, blinded to the glory shown in the very
environment we inhabit. It is a loss, in my opinion, just refusing to notice, but it
also has to put a roadblock in front of our stewardship of the creation. If we are about
to leave, 'does it really matter what we do to this place?' 

Secondly, in our focus on getting out of here, we can miss out on making a real
difference in the lives of those around us, both our Christian  brothers and sisters,
as well as all with whom we come into contact. Our smallest positive donation to this
world is a reflection of the God we adore and expresses or appreciation and
our desire to glorify God. If, as the author appears to be suggesting, this earth
will be transformed into the new earth, alongside of the new heaven and in the
presence of God, we are simply depositing into the account of the eventual new
creation, the resurrection of God's entire creation.

Take off those nasty blinders, won't you... there's work to be done. There's a God
to glorify!

Praise Him!