Among Despair, Hope Through Christ
June 30, 2021
"For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope."
If my understanding is correct, we seed winter wheat in the fall. The seed then sits in the ground during winter. When everything is all wintry and snowy, plant life is hard to imagine. But, come spring, the winter wheat grows.
Even though surrounded by the cold and gray of a Montana winter, that little seed in the ground is very alive.
Winter wheat reminds us, even though the cold and snowy plains of winter may surround us, there is still life.
Our text says, even though a fallen world surrounds us, someday God will restore all creation to new life.
We too are a part of creation. And, we too will be restored to new life on that day that Christ returns.
What an amazing creation of God. We plant a seed underground, and it sprouts and grows.
We can say this about creation. It is amazing. And, it is created and designed by God for us all.
God doesn't need to create for himself. He is fine for eternity. He doesn't need anything Himself.
Yest, we need a place to live. So, God creates this world out of nothing. He creates out of grace and love.
In Genesis Chapter one, God creates life by saying the Word. He creates us and all creation this way.
Of course, God's creation is under attack today. Evolution teaches, intentionally, there is no Creator God. Where is the fossil record of transitional species, of one species evolving to another? There is none.
How long would it take the human nervous system to develop by evolution? Would it even develop?
Throughout the creation account, one phrase is used again and again: "God saw that it was good." And, it is!
But a calamity comes upon the whole earth. Adam falls. Now, creation is subject to deterioration. Futility!
Adam's sin is an act of freedom on his part. He can avoid it. But, once he commits it, it effects all creation.
Now, creatures of the earth help to hurt and work against us. Now, creation reminds us of our sin and guilt. Now, when we break ground, the first thing that grows back is not just winter wheat, but thorns and thistles.
God's creation is, from the start, intimately connected with the crown of creation, humanity, Adam and Eve.
From the start of creation until now, creation and humanity are very closely connected. We depend on it.
Adam's fall means the fall of all creation. Now, all creation is under distress. And, a million things are wrong.
Now there is hail. There are diseases affecting wheat in the field, and in storage. Grasshoppers! Drought!
It is a minor miracle now that a farmer gets a crop, from see to harvest, in spite of the weather, or market.
But, there is hope. By God's grace, there is hope for fallen man in Christ; and a hope extending to creation.
So, our text says the entire creation suffers. Sin affects everything. All of creation longs for restoration on the last day. That is, Christ's return!
Do we long for that day?
Until then, Paul calls us not to occupy our mind with suffering which we endure, but remember God's deliverance.
Sometimes we suffer for Christ's sake alone. There is persecution in the world for just being His people.
But, we primarily suffer for our sins and faults, due to evil in this world. Life in a fallen world has its own suffering.
Yet, in all times of suffering, whether for Christ's sake, or just living in a fallen world, the Holy Spirit helps us.
The Holy Spirit works saving faith we need; faith in Christ crucified. He is our substitute for sin on the cross.
God gives us comfort and assurance through His Word and sacrament. They strengthen our faith in suffering.
And, someday, a day known only by God, He will restore the fortunes of all His people and all His creation too.
Human sin and evil today make such a mess of God's good creation; environmentally, politically and socially.
Because of the state of society today, it is easy to despair the state of this world. There is much distress.
But, take comfort! The Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth is in control. All things are possible for Him!
As little as we know about this restored earth at Christs return, the hope arises from promises in His Word.
Our text reminds us the triune God will make heaven and earth new again, simply by saying the Word.
At Christ's return all the needs of creation will be met by the power that enable Him to subdue all things.
Even though death surrounds us today, in Christ, the reality is we are really surrounded by new life.
Editor's Note: "Preacher's Desk" is open to ordained clergy serving in Valley County. Clergy are invited to submit columns, which will be published on a rotating scheduled dependent on participation. If interested, send religious columns to [email protected]