Christ calls his followers to take up his ministries of nurturing, feeding and healing. In so doing, we bear witness to the God who has never stopped loving the world. The resurrection of reconciled bodies: this is the gospel’s good news. Without it, we and the whole world are lost. Without it, we may grow to despise creation.
Norman Wirzba in Making Peace with the Land
We may grow to despise creation? How’s that?
Here’s the punchline: there is something vital about today, about Jesus Christ Risen, for us to love creation.
Why? Well, here’s one take: 1 We can come to despise creation when we have divorced ourselves from it; when we imagine body and soul are totally separate things.
Physicality vs. spirituality.
Earth vs. Heaven.
In our quest for some place else it is too easy to neglect the place we are. The hope for someplace else totally divorced from our material being (one way people think of heaven), is a false one. 2 Easter is rooted in Earth. In a rock tomb found in a garden. The strong claim of today, of Easter, is a reconciled relationship embodied in us through the resurrected person of Jesus Christ. 3
The Apostle Paul, in his letters to the Corinthians, was dealing with a community in crises. We might even imagine some in the community had come to despise one another. Through his letters he turned to the Resurrection as a counter measure. 4 The Resurrection is God’s strong word against divorce and despair. It is an act of reconciliation:
So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting the message of reconciliation to us. (2 Cor 5:17-19)
God in Christ, reconciling the whole world. This is why Wirzba can claim, “Christ calls his followers to take up his ministries of nurturing, feeding and healing. In so doing, we bear witness to the God who has never stopped loving the world.” God has not stopped loving the world, and we are called to do likewise.
You are the bearer of God’s image in this world, carrying out the work of reconciliation through all creation. To the whole earthly neighborhood–human and non-human, animate and inanimate.
Today, this Easter day, remember:
Christ is Risen! And, in him, you are a joyful new creation.
- If you want to go deeper in this vein, you can read Norman Wirzba’s whole chapter “Reconciliation with the Land” in Making Peace with the Land. ↩
- The vision we get from Revelation 21 is of Heaven come to earth. A reconciled and renewed creation. ↩
- Take a look at the words of the Apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 15:13-15: If there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ has not been raised; and if Christ has not been raised, then our proclamation has been in vain and your faith has been in vain. We are even found to be misrepresenting God, because we testified of God that he raised Christ—whom he did not raise if it is true that the dead are not raised. ↩
- Again, take a look at 1 Cor 15:13-15 ↩