Monday, April 07, 2014

40 Days of Renewal: Creation

Thus far we have focused for the past few weeks on renewal, taking a journey of renewal through the renewing of our strength, of our mind, of our spirit and of our identity. What's left to renew?

For the final week of this forty day journey, we bring our focus onto the renewal of creation. Unlike the past four focal points of renewal, this renewing of creation is one that is external. After having been renewed in our source of strength, and in the refreshing of our minds, and in our inner nature, and in our very being, we now look to the renewal of the world around us. In Matthew 19, Jesus speaks to Peter of "the renewal of all things, when the Son of Man is seated on the throne of his glory" as a time when they who have left everything to follow Christ will be rewarded.

 Timing-wise, there are two ways of looking at this:

Firstly, in a continuum of renewal. Upon His resurrection, Christ is seated at the right hand of the Father, already on the throne of glory. As such, in leaving everything to follow Christ, in that process of taking up our cross (Matt 16:24), of dying daily (2 Cor 4:11), we are taking part in the renewal of creation and in its spiritual reward. Thus as we have been with respect to our strength, mind, spirit, and identity, all things on earth, all of creation is being renewed now that Christ has conquered death and is seated upon the throne.

The second view is of a coming renewal. This gives the sense of all of creation waiting in eager anticipation of renewal, the new heaven and the new earth that John foresaw in his revelation (Rev 21:1-2). In this view, our renewal and its spiritual reward are coming, and while we serve Christ here on earth, we serve in anticipation of our bridegroom's return.

Having been renewed within ourselves, we are ready to fully appreciate the world around us, and we are now awake to bear witness to the renewing of creation. But which renewing of creation is this? The continual one, or the anticipatory one? Indeed, it is both: we see the continual renewing of all things, the new mercies every morning that are bestowed upon us (Lam 3:22-23), and yet we also anticipate the coming renewal at Christ's second coming.

My prayer for you this week is that in renewing yourself, you are now ready to bear witness to all things being renewed through Christ. May you see the renewal brought about by Christ's death and resurrection in every aspect of His creation.

Be blessed and shine in the newness of creation!

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