Spring has officially sprung in my little corner of the world. Each day, the rain falls and the grass gets a little greener and little shoots of green pop up out of the flowerbeds. On the non-rainy days, it is finally bearable to go outside without a coat and to bask in the sunshine for a few glorious minutes.
Romans 8 reminds me of spring. The reminders of Creation sharing in our curse, of the hope it also has for renewal sink deep into my bone.
For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God; for the creation was subjected to futility, not of its own will but by the will of him who subjected it in hope; because the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to decay and obtain the glorious liberty of the children of God. – Romans 8:19-21 RSVCE
Spring brings new meaning to the aching of all Creation.
I can feel it in my bones as the green life sprouts from the dead ground, it is aching to be renewed.
All creation is eagerly longing. Does it feel the ache within it? The desire to return to the Garden?
I ponder this as I walk through the world-changing around me.
What does this mean? How does it change the way we work in and relate to the physical world?
The coming restoration of Creation is a gentle reminder that I am not a brain on a stick or a soul in a body, that the physical matter of this world, the trees, the dirt, my body, are all awaiting restoration. The God who formed my being also created the wind and the stars and all of the creatures and call them good. And His plan is not that their physical matter becomes irrelevant, but renewed.
Creation will be restored, and my body is no exception.
But some one will ask, “How are the dead raised? With what kind of body do they come?” You foolish man! What you sow does not come to life unless it dies. And what you sow is not the body which is to be, but a bare kernel, perhaps of wheat or of some other grain. But God gives it a body as he has chosen, and to each kind of seed its own body. For not all flesh is alike, but there is one kind for men, another for animals, another for birds, and another for fish. – 1 Corinthians 15:35-39 RSVCE
Like the seeds being planted in the ground, sprouting again in a more glorious version, the version they were always meant to be and we were always meant to rejoice in, so our buried bodies will burst forth from the ground, transformed into the ones God always meant for us to have.
My physical body, your physical body, our physical world, it will not be discarded but transformed and renewed.
But spring is hard to imagine in the depth of winter and transformation is hard to fathom in our limited, finite bodies.
So we wait and press into the virtue of hope.
Not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience. – Romans 8:23-25 RSVCE
I hope for what I do not see, for what is far off and hard to understand.
And while I wait, I look for signposts, for little reminders of renewal and God’s faithfulness, like the spring rain falling upon the once frozen ground and calling forth out of its depths something new, something green.