Romans (7)

Read – Romans 8.18-25

‘Every good and perfect gift comes from above, from the Father of all lights, with whom there is never the slightest variation or shadow of inconsistency.’    [James 1.17]

In her novel, Watershed, Alberta author, Doreen Vanderstoop tells the story of a family in the year 2058 after the glaciers have all melted.  Water, in fact, is the new oil, a commodity in short supply but high demand.  Willa Van Bruggen and her husband Calvin struggle to keep their goat farm in operation even as they are faced with $4000 a month water bills and a fraying social fabric.  Alberta itself has polarized into North and South at odds with each other over scarce commodities and Calgary at night is a city of vandals and vigilantes.

Watershed is part of a movement called ‘cli-fi,’ that is, climate fiction that paints a sober picture of what could happen in the future.

In Genesis 1.31 we read that ‘God saw everything he had made, and indeed, it was very good.’   Christian and Jewish affirmation of the material - the created order – is rooted in that faith statement.  We do not believe God created the world to abandon it.  As New Testament scholar, N.T. Wright points out, Christianity is the most materialistic of religions, believing God intends to restore the world to its original beauty, not destroy it.  He cites the vision in Revelation 21 of the New Jerusalem coming down to earth, a very different vision than some have of believers escaping earth to an ethereal heaven. 

In the meantime, we lament, along with OT prophets, and with Paul, the ‘groaning of creation’ as she awaits her liberation.  Sometimes Christians have been so preoccupied with their personal justification and salvation they have forgotten God’s larger cosmic plan for the restoration and reconciliation of ALL things including the cosmos.   JB Phillips in his translation says it so well:  ‘Creation itself is on tiptoe with expectation….’   Creations’ and our redemption are tied together.  The church is not to be separate from the pain of the world but to be in prayer wherever that pain is felt.  This too is part of our calling as disciples.


1      Can you imagine a world without decay or death?

2      What frustrates you most about living in a time of climate uncertainty?

3      What do you hope for in a time of climate uncertainty?

Prayer:   ‘O God, we want to praise and thank you for giving us so much to enjoy in your world.  Open our eyes to see all the beauty around us, to appreciate your greatness in giving us the different seasons, each fulfilling our needs.  Forgive us, Lord, for the damage we have done to earth. Help us to be good stewards of creation, and to do all we can to relieve the sufferings and hardships caused by carelessness and waste. Make us willing and eager to share the many good things you have provided for the benefit of all.   AMEN