God Is Renewing It All

“…the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God …On each side of the river stood the tree of life… the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations.” - Revelation 22:1-2

Dear Friends,

Happy Earth Day!

Back in Ohio, the church I served at had a fairly large campus, out in the country. It took a lot of effort to maintain the landscape and after several years of just “maintenance” we had someone suggest an idea. What if we coordinated a Spring Clean-up day? They would supply the mulch, as well as some skilled labor to direct the volunteers (they had a landscaping company), and members would could show up and just do the grunt work to get the campus beautified and ready for the spring!

It was a hit!

I looked so beautiful afterward, that it became a new tradition. Every year, on Earth Day, mulch would be delivered by the skid and volunteers would show up to give an hour or three to prepare the campus for Spring and Summer when it would really shine.

I got to thinking about this today, Earth Day 2020.

I expect, had it not been for this virus, there’d be plenty of people schlepping mulch and cleaning up there today. And yet…

And yet, because of this virus, and the pause in working, the pause in manufacturing, there’s an incredible amount of natural beauty that is being renewed all across the world right now. I mean, have you seen the images from China, India, France and even across this country, where mountains, skyscrapers and blue skies are being seen in places where they hadn’t been in years, in decades even!

It reminds me of two important things:

First, God has a way of taking some of the worst things we experience and bringing about something incredible and beautiful - all we need to do is look up and see it!

Second, the renewal of all things, despite our best efforts to mess things up with our own sin, is God’s ultimate end. I know there are a lot of people who are anxiously re-reading the book of Revelation now - or maybe they’re just pulling out a few choice images from their memory - but what sometimes gets lost in this is the actual ending of the book. It’s a good ending. It’s the beautiful, peaceful, renewal of creation.

In the midst of this current mess, we can see signs of God’s renewal even now. I hope you’ll take the time to look up and see it. Think of it as a down payment on the full glory of God’s renewal that is yet to come!

Welcoming people to Grow in Jesus on this Earth Day and Every Day,

Pastor Don

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