Beautiful things

These days, when I look at my own theological leanings, I find myself coming back, time and time again, to the creation-new creation dynamic in scripture.

The story of our faith begins with an account of a creative and creating God, who calls order out of chaos, who draws all life into being with a mere word, who looks around at everything and calls it good, and whether you believe in the creation story as fact or as powerful myth, whether you look to the creation story as an origin story that tells us something about us humans or as a poetic story that tells us something about the nature of God, it is clear to me that our faith is grounded in the idea that everything was created good and beautiful and cherished, by a God who wants to take whatever is messy, chaotic, wild, and energetic in the world and transform it into something full of order and life.

And the story of our faith ends with an account of new creation, which includes everything from a tree of life to a shining river to streets that shine like gemstones. No pain or crying or death or fear is present in this new creation. It is not simply a "starting over," but it is an eternal fulfillment, that great exhale that comes when all the cosmos, past and present and future, is exactly as it should be, and the whole world will live in perfect communion with God and one another.

These creation stories point me to a truly cosmic God, and they give me assurance that there is always hope to be found, for if we truly believe that God created us good and we truly believe that God will reconcile and redeem every part of his creation, then we know that our pains and fears and brokenness are all fleeting, and do not have the final word. More than that, we have a God who is consistently making us new, that we might daily reveal to the world more and more of his love, grace, and salvation.

The God who created Adam out of the dust of the earth and breathed life into him is the same God who fashions us from the dust and the clay, enlivening us by the breath of the Holy Spirit.

So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new!
-2 Corinthians 5:17

And the one who was seated on the throne said, "See, I am making all things new."
-Revelation 21:5a