In Revelation 21, John witnesses that earth and heaven pass away, and a new earth and heaven are begun. The one seated on the throne tells John, “Behold! I make all things new.” (Rev. 21:5)
Unfortunately, some Christians have taken these verses as license to do what they will to the earth, as it will pass away. To my mind, you might as well say that you can do whatever you like to your body, as it will also pass away. Maybe you can, but there will be consequences.
The fact that post-resurrection Jesus still bore the marks of his crucifixion makes me believe that the things that happen here on earth truly matter in eternity. None of us will make it out of this world without a cadre of scars on our bodies, hearts and spirits; I believe that we will bear our scars in resurrection, not in pain, but glorified, as markers of what we ourselves have been through and shaped by, and as testimonies to what God has done in and for us.
In the same way, the heavens and the earth are not being created once again from nothing, as God did in Genesis 1, but resurrected, as we ourselves will be. John uses the same language in Revelation 21 that Paul uses in 2 Corinthians 5:17, “So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new!”
This is the impetus behind Redeeming Creation, the NC Conference’s annual virtual event. We believe that God not only redeems human lives, but all of creation. Not only that, we believe that the Church is called to work alongside God in God’s redemptive mission.
It is appropriate, then, that Earth Day follows so closely behind Easter this year. As we continue to celebrate Christ’s resurrection, let us look for places of resurrection in creation around us.
Redeeming Creation is this upcoming Saturday, April 23, from 9:30-12:30 (EST) via Zoom. Our theme is Hope and Healing, and our keynote speaker is Rev. Dr. Michelle Lewis. We will also be joined by Bishop Hope Morgan Ward, Rev. Jenny Phillips, and Dr. Daniel Joranko. Each presentation will be recorded and made available to those who registered, so if you cannot attend live, you can still participate at your convenience.
Please fill out the form below to register.