Isaiah 65: 17-21 I am about to create a new heavens and a new earth…..
What does it mean for us to live in a world both wondrous and wild? Grace-filled and pock marked by the effect of sin? Lovely and dangerous? It is not for the faint of heart.
We are not in charge, God is good, and God’s goodness is in us and meant to grow through us in this world. When we embrace salvation, redemption, when we respond to God’s goodness then the new heavens and new earth promised by the prophets continues to emerge, to evolve, to grow.
Most of us think God is good when things are good, and when they go bad, for us or the ones we love or for our world we ask “where is God”? Most of us think that “our” world is a safe and happy world, no illness, no natural disasters, no systematized selfishness, no greed, no violence, no rain on the weekend. And then when this fantasy evaporates with the press of reality, we ask “where is God”? Did Christ come to bless our “happy world”? or to save our grace laced but broken one? What is now is not yet full, but we are meant to embrace what is, with the wisdom and strength that come with faith, and cooperate with God’s saving life so that it might grow, in us, in our families, in our world.
God has a plan, but given his gift of his Son, Jesus the Christ, getting to the fullness of good is not accomplished without the faithful love that bears suffering; not to be tough, or self-reliant, but to be good. Evil and deprivation and need are not signs that God is not good nor in charge, they are a part of our world in process. Grace, God’s life and force, lives in us and in our world, when we let it wash over us in moments of despair and weakness, when we rely on it for wisdom and right judgment, then we have what we need to co-create God’s new heaven and new earth, that which we will know fully when we grow fully into salvation, fully into God’s house God’s kingdom.
So choose to live with faith and trust in this “real” world, let grace wash over you, fill you, empower you, live the ups and downs, the triumphs and failures and never quit, we are indeed God’s instruments meant to make more of God’s goodness.