Thursday, January 1, 2015

go to the work

I've never much enjoyed New Year's Eve. I don't particularly enjoy staying up late, and I don't see much point in getting wild to celebrate a tomorrow that will most likely look very much like today. But this morning I was beginning the final chapters of my study in John with a look at Jesus's resurrection, and this verse has been with me all day. The reading at our wedding was from the beginning of Revelations 21, finishing with this verse. And something about the coming of this new year reminds me of the new creation Christ ushered in when he defeated death.

Because I've been dwelling on the theme of a new creation all day, I flipped back through Surprised By Hope, by N. T. Wright, and I came across this gem towards the end:
The genuine Christian hope, rooted in Jesus's resurrection, is the hope for God's renewal of all things, for his overcoming of corruption, decay, and death, for his filling of the whole cosmos with his love and grace, his power and glory....  What I am saying is, think through the hope that is ours in the gospel; recognize the renewal of creation as both the goal of all things in Christ and the achievement that has already been accomplished in the resurrection; and go to the work of justice, beauty, evangelism, the renewal of space, time, and matter as the anticipation of the eventual goal and the implementation of what Jesus achieved in his death and resurrection.
I've been sloughing through some really tough school work this break that is preparation for the upcoming semester. In a profession like teaching, it's easy to get distracted with thoughts that outcomes are directly impacted by my level of preparation and skill. But I'm learning more and more that when my focus narrows simply to my own efforts, despair and hopelessness creep in and begin to take control. I needed this reminder to go to work with the anticipation that my greatest goal has already been achieved and I get the joy of watching it unfold. My work for today, and each new day, is to act as a faithful steward of the new creation, ushering in a tiny foretaste of what God has in store for us, showing this decadent world a picture of what God is doing in the whole cosmos.

Despair and hopelessness are loud voices in my head, so today I am arming myself with his victory and his promise in order that I might go to the work that is before me with joy and trust that all things will be made new.