“In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth…God saw all that he had made, and it was very good.” Genesis 1: 1 & 31a
“For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the children of God; for the creation was subjected to futility, not of its own will but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to decay and will obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. We know that the whole creation has been groaning in labor pains until now…” Romans 8: 19 – 22
One of my biggest “aha” moments in the last few years came through a friend of ours, Lisa Sharon Harper, as she brought a message to the Justice Conference in South Africa in 2017. She spoke of the difference between the Greek and Hebraic understanding and use of the term “goodness”. In Greek, she explained, it was believed that something or someone contained goodness – that goodness resides within an object or a person. The Hebraic understanding, on the other hand, was that goodness was to be found in the relationship between all things. Thus, when the Bible declares that God saw that all that had been created was “very good”, we understand this to mean that the relationship between all things – between God and humanity, between human beings and between humanity and the rest of creation, the cosmos – was in beautiful and flourishing relationship.
At the Warehouse we hold to the belief, the faith and the hope that Jesus’ proclamation that the Son of Man had come to seek and save everything that has been lost (Luke 19:10) referred not only to the reconciliation of our individual relationships with God, but to the restoration of this whole web of relationships. We hold to the vision that the work of Jesus and that of the Church through the power of the Holy Spirit will see the very goodness between God and humanity, between each of us and our siblings all over the globe and between humanity and the rest of creation restored to the original dream God had for the cosmos.
We began the year with a deep yearning to focus on some of how this “restoration of very goodness between all things” might pertain to the ongoing actions and conversations around climate change and creation care. We have pulled together some of our own thoughts and have also leaned into our wider community of friends and networks who are all working passionately towards the same goals to provide you, your family, your church and/or your small group with some thoughts, perspectives and ways to learn, pray and act within this time of urgency and opportunity. We plan to continue with some conversation on social media as well as face-to-face through the year and would love to engage with any questions or ideas you, as our wider community, have.
We hope this year sees a deeper experience of freedom, love and joy as you pursue the work of the Holy Spirit in your hearts, lives and communities.
This blogpost was the editorial for our Update. You can read the whole email here