Silence and Stillness before God (2 minutes)
But with eager hope, the creation looks forward to the day when it will join God’s children in glorious freedom from death and decay.
Written by Ian Yue
I work in the environmental field, and it can be really disheartening sometimes. You’re constantly faced with issues of ecosystem degradation, lost and invasive species, conflicts over access to natural resources, and humans suffering under compromised environmental conditions. It so often feels like an uphill battle that you sometimes ask yourself, “Why do I continue to work in this field?”
For some of my colleagues, the answer to that question is a belief that we can dig ourselves out of the environmental mess we’ve created. While I don’t underestimate the power of human ingenuity, as a Christian, I cannot put my trust in humans alone. I know that humanity, in its sinful nature, has caused generations of harm to God’s creation (Romans 8:20). However, I also know that destruction is not the end of the story; redemption of all of creation is (Romans 8:21-25). As such, I must believe that my work is both a confirmation of the inherent value of creation and a proclamation of God’s continual redemption of the world around me.
Reminding myself of this “cosmic purpose” has helped me find meaning in my work in the face of disheartenment. Beyond that, though, it has helped me maintain faith in His work, which undergirds what I do. At work or not, I can keep my eyes open for God’s redeeming hand and always expect that He will show up, whether in my life or someone else’s.
The practice of holding onto a “cosmic purpose” has been invaluable to me in navigating 2020. In the bleakest of moments, I’ve learned to ask myself to simply look for God’s redeeming work. I am then challenged to live in the spirit of that redemption, finding ways to affirm the inherent value of all of God’s creation – including those around me who have hated, hurt, or disappointed.
During advent, we light candles to represent the hope, faith, joy, and peace that comes with the arrival of Christ. It can be easy to think that Christ simply brought these things to us through a promise of a better life beyond earth. But, over these last few months, I’ve come to see that Christ’s “cosmic purpose” provides us a faith that we can experience the joy, hope, and peace of His redemption right now. And that’s anything but disheartening.
Lord, thank you for the hope you inspire as I think about your redemption of all things. Give me faith to live my life in partnership with your unfolding work.
Conclude with Stillness (2 minutes)