Romans 8:18–25, Revelation 5:1–10 (read online ⧉)
What are we expecting? What are we anticipating? Expectation and anticipation are not always positive, as we often “wait” for the other shoe to drop. It is in this mindset that anxiety can step in and take over us.
Creation is personified in Paul’s text. This anthropomorphic thinking of Creation puts a different spin on things. We could then get in line with those that say things link, “Mother Nature is angry at humanity.” Almost. Environmental degradation was not a strong concern in Paul’s era. However, people did experience hurricanes, cyclones, severe storms, ice, hail, volcanoes, earthquakes, etcetera. When we think of these severe events, we can sympathize with Paul’s thinking.
What is more interesting is the implication of Paul’s words. You see, it is not just about us. We finite creations are not all that are affected by sin. All of creation was affected. The Fall of humanity was not just about humanity, but the consequence that was then delivered to all of creation. In the carol, Joy to the World, we sing:
No more let sins and sorrows grow,
Nor thorns infest the ground;
He comes to make his blessings flow
Far as the curse is found.
The infestation of thorns (and weeds), plus the sweat now required of humanity to farm, and even the fact that creatures eat one another, are all signs of fallen creation. All of Creation waits to be restored, too.
That restoration is at the core of John’s vision of Heaven. The Seven-Sealed Scroll was the fulfillment of all hope from Heaven to Earth. We can understand that in John’s vision, the scroll not being opened meant that God’s plan wouldn’t/couldn’t be fulfilled for just the brief moment. That brief moment is all that it takes to get that “drop in the stomach” feeling of loss. If all were truly based on a scroll, then hope would be pointless. True hope relies not on the scroll, but on Jesus. Heaven and Earth rejoice, indeed.
1) Are you constantly waiting for the “other shoe to drop”? If no, how do you plan for and thrive beyond things to go bad? If yes, how do you move forward under all that emotional weight?
2) Do you think it is important that Creation is waiting, too? Why or why not?