The Reading: Romans 8:18-25
“… the creation waits with eager longing …” (v. 19) RSV
Has it ever occurred to you that the greatest ecological crisis is caused not by carbon emissions but by our spiritual sins – our rebellion against God? Our passage today indicates that all creation has been groaning (v.22), waiting to be released from “its bondage to decay” (v.21).
This process has been depicted for us in the story of creation. In Genesis, the Fall of Adam and Eve resulted in (amongst other things) the cursing of the ground: “thorns and thistles it shall bring forth to you” (Gen. 3:18). Now, Genesis gives us a theological account of creation, not a scientific one. It explains the significance of what has happened.
Genesis therefore explains that angels, and man and animals and trees and rocks and the weather are all intertwined. So when one moves out of step it affects all the others. Hence human rebellion has knocked all of creation off-kilter.
Creation is longing for restoration, but it won’t finally know it until it passes through its own death and resurrection. One day there will be a new heaven and a new earth (Rev. 21:1). Until then creation waits for the salvation of the human race. It waits. There is nothing else it can do. Meantime the earth witnesses to the glory of God.
If we are bothered about this beautiful but broken world, then we need to join the ranks of those who are saved. We need to move onto the side of Jesus and walk in harmony with him.
Of course we should in every way try to save the planet, but nothing we do will be as effective as walking in step with the Creator. “… the creation waits with eager longing …” (v.19) for us to do so.
Lord, life is a great mystery. Thank you for the world that you have created. May I help its salvation by walking in harmony with you. Amen.
1 What did God tell us to do with creation?
Genesis 1:26,28 Genesis 2:15