Waiting

LENT ADVENTURE 2016

Read Romans 8:18-25

18 I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. 19 For the creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed. 20 For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope 21 that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God.

22 We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. 23 Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption to sonship, the redemption of our bodies. 24 For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have? 25 But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.

 

Easter Saturday is a time of waiting. In the Orthodox Church, this is a day of transformation, from Sorrow to Joy, from Friday to Sunday. This Saturday is a day celebrating the death of death itself. The day when victory grows from inside the defeat. Death is a defeated enemy. In raising Jesus from the dead God set in motion the final defeat of death itself. “Death has been swallowed up in victory.” “Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?” The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. -1 Cor 15:54-57

Easter Saturday is also full of eschatological tension! This is the tension between the now and the not yet. There is a mystery to the Kingdom. We live in both the ‘Kingdom Now’ and the ‘Kingdom Not-Yet’. We live in both despair at what we see in the world around us, and triumph at the victory, Jesus won and the hope of all that is to come. Two quotes…

“Understanding the tension of the kingdom is essential to measure truth. Any teaching that tries to evade either the ‘already’ or the ‘not yet’ runs counter to the balance of Scripture. And doctrine always has an outworking in life. A defeatist emphasis will produce defeated Christians. A triumphalist approach will produce unreal people who live in a spiritual bubble, or worse, an arrogance and fanaticism that brings the name of Jesus into disrepute.” -Derek Morphew, Breakthrough, p203

 “It is a matter of glimpsing that in God’s new creation, of which Jesus’s resurrection is the start, all that was good in the original creation is reaffirmed. All that has corrupted and defaced it–including many things which are woven so tightly in to the fabric of the world as we know it that we can’t imagine being without them–will be done away. Learning to live as a Christian is learning to live as a renewed human being, anticipating the eventual new creation in and with a world which is still longing and groaning for that final redemption.” -Tom Wright, Simply Christian

In your life, where are you experiencing  defeat and despair? Pray for God’s Kingdom to come. For Hope to be restored. Know that death and despair do not have the final word.

Which way do you naturally lean towards? The ‘Now’ or ‘Not-Yet’? Do you tend to live in defeat and despair or triumphal fanaticism? How will you hold ‘now’ and ‘not-yet’ in tension?

 

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