During times like these, we’re all tempted to place our hope in things of this world and lose sight of the One who created this world.
Likewise, those people living as refugees in Babylon, were tempted to abandon their God and worship the local gods, the gods they could see; the gods who didn’t require much faith because they knew that rain made the crops grow.
To remind them of the One True God, they would tell stories. One story they would tell was the story of Creation. I don’t think they sat around and said: “hey kids, let me tell how the world came to be.”
I think it was more about reminding everyone that God is bigger than this moment in time. God is bigger than those gods, God is more faithful, and God can do it, because he’s done it before.
God has always worked in and through his creation.
God works through the sun, the moon and the stars.
God works through the rivers and oceans, the rain and the snow.
God works through the birds of the air and creatures of the sea.
God works through the vegetation and the earth itself.
God works through the people.
The ancient people never denied the existence or usefulness of those elements of creation that were often idolized; the call was keep them in their proper place. To be stewards of creation not subjects of it.
They recognized that all of those elements of creation had their failures, so our hope needs to lie beyond them, in the One who made them.
Today, our temptation is to place our hope in more abstract forms of creation: education, medicine, sports, entertainment and leaders. We have built monuments and cathedrals to them. We make tremendous sacrifices for them.
But our hope lies beyond them; in the One who works through them to bring new life. That does not mean we dismiss them or disengage from them.
We wait, safely in our arks for the rain to pass and the waters to recede, we wait for a vaccine or a cure. We wait for researchers and leaders. We are thankful for delivery drivers and grocery store workers, for doctors and nurses and so many other “essential” people who continue to serve.
We are thankful that we live in a time when scientific advancements allow us to wait out a disease and offer time for science to work.
As we wait and as we give thanks, there will be stops and starts, disappointments and discouragement; decisions will be flawed, and hypotheses will be proved wrong.
We do believe in the science and the people who seek to fix the problem, but we also know that our true hope, our future and our salvation lie in the One who is working through all and in all.
Our faith is in the promise of a new tomorrow, even if we do not know when that is or what it will look like. Our peace comes from knowing that God is working and creating new life.
Our loss of control during this time leads us to feeling like we’re subjects, slaves even. Our challenge is to remember where our hope comes from, especially when we cannot see always God at work, we can find him in his works.
What does it mean to exercise our stewardship of God’s works during this time?
Rejoice always,pray continually,give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
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