Creation is wonderful! If you doubt it, think how many different people would be fascinated, within their speciality:
- Engineers of all sorts are fascinated by the order, and interlocking systems balancing
- Anthropologists and Zoologists can spend lifetimes studying the diversity and intricacy of what they discover – knowing there is much more
- Astronomers get excited by things I don’t understand at all!
- Authors are amazed by the varieties of human experience, or travel possibilities.
- Artists look at landscapes, from postcard sunsets to subtle delights
I try to take photographs, and have a continuing series of clouds. Sometimes with skyline, often without. There is colour, shape, contrast, mystery, power . . all sorts of things, often in great beauty.
Yes, creation is wonderful but – read Romans 8:18-25 as we did, and we need to look forward. We know there are various things wrong. Climate Change has been highlighted as a concern for us all. But there are other problems: trade imbalances impoverishing the weak; technological changes affecting cultures. . Paul is not very specific, but seems to say that creation groans, and that humans, including Christians, also experience less than the ideal. This isn’t it – we haven’t arrived.
These and other problems don’t mean creation is wholly spoiled, but neither is it as it should be. So creation groans – verse 22. One commentator says “Cosmic pessimism was rampant in the first century; most people believed that decay and Fate reigned supreme.” I’m not sure of the most popular outlook today, but Paul adds that even Christians who have been given the Holy Spirit share this groaning, looking for what they do not yet have or experience. What is that? Freedom from the present problems – so heaven, or perhaps the full experience of the Kingdom of God. It has started, but we still wait for its full realisation. We can’t make the Kingdom of God happen. It needs God, and his timing. So we wait, perhaps suffer, and hope.
But do we do that idly? No, at least I hope not.
- We relish creation, enjoying it according to our gifts (taking pictures, easing relationships under strain, gardening) – and hope that helps others as well as us enjoy and glimpse the Creator.
- We learn to give thanks, recognising the Creator, and our bounty.
- We look forward. We talk about what we have now and what we are waiting for, keeping up our expectation with encouragement.
- Where possible, we put things right. Fair Trade matters; it won’t solve all the problems of the world, but it will help, and fix some. Climate change matters, and yes, its a big issue – but find out what you can do, and do it.
Creation is wonderful; and we are waiting for our Creator God to make it as it is really supposed to be. In the meantime, we can still see some of his character in the creation, and we have things to hope for, and things to do.