Wednesday, May 19, 2010
The Feast of Pentecost - Romans 8:12-25
The first readers of Romans never thought the creation would still be waiting 2000 years later to be set free from its bondage to decay. Given the weight of the human foot print in 2010 it may be waiting more eagerly than ever. According to Genesis it was human rebellion that subjected the creation to frustration and the ground of the garden where only good things grew was cursed so that only painful toil produced fruit. Paul imagines a day of redemption where the curse of the fall is reversed and the whole creation rejoices in the homecoming of the prodigal human race welcomed by a waiting Abba. Which is why the very real sufferings of the first readers of Romans were not worth comparing with the glory to be revealed. That is not meant to minimize suffering but only put it in the proper perspective. In all our trials and tribulations, in our suffering and hardship, in our sorrow and pain, we too eagerly long for redemption, groaning inwardly, but not as those who have no hope. And what might be our brightest and best hope? Isaiah saw it and it sustained him while he suffered slavery in Babylon. The Assyrian lion lies down with the lamb of Judah, swords and spears are beaten into plow shares and pruning hooks, and people of every tribe and tongue sit down to feast together as God dines on death. I consider whatever I have to face today or any day not worth comparing with what I believe will one day be true for you and me and all people. And if on any given day I wait impatiently, groaning outwardly, complaining and frustrated, the hope of the future is held in trust by you for me. And when you grow weary my hope will be yours because we are in this thing together until at last the hope of the future we can only now dimly imagine is fully revealed.