Today we continue our series, where I share reflections related to my snapshot of my current theological understanding thanks to Discourse. If you need a refresher, check out the introduction piece to the series which provides links to all the other pieces. As has been the practice, I will share what I came up for the class first by indenting, and then provide further reflection here on the blog based on it.
I believe God envisions a world where Galatians 3:28 is realized.
This will be a world of restored and reconciled community; a community built on an understanding that all are created and loved beautiful and unique Children of God and therefore equal.
Such a world would be one of peace, abundant life, and a world absent of fear, hunger, oppression, abuse, and poverty.
Galatians 3:28 reads, “There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus.” The unity that comes from being God’s children and “heirs according to the promise,” brings all together. The unity doesn’t remove difference and individuality. There is beauty in our diversity. But our unity in Christ brings us together as a restored and reconciled community of God’s people. Through Christ, we are restored and reconciled to God and one another. Through Christ, we are able to come together as a community of God’s people recognizing that all are created and loved beautiful and unique Children of God.
I believe this envisioning is part of God’s hope for relationship with creation- that all may come together in peace, to live as God created them to live abundantly. I trust that as part of this envisioning, is a hope that the problems, challenges and sin of and in the world will be overcome with the in-breaking of the Kingdom of God. This means, among other things, that fear, hunger, oppression, abuse, poverty, etc., would be reduced and in the fulfillment of the kingdom would all be overcome by God.
I have a real passion and yearning to help do things to relieve hunger and poverty. I think this led me to major in both economics and religion. It certainly led me to do the different major research projects I have done. It also I think helps shape my joy of traveling and experiencing other cultures. I like to have relationships with people from all areas because I think there is great value in hearing and sharing different perspectives, values, and ideas. That is one of the most beautiful things about community. We are all children of God, but we are also beautiful in our uniqueness.
In terms of music that comes to mind, the hymn “Canticle of the Turning” and the worship song, “The River is Here,” come to mind. Rory Cooney adapted the text of the Magnificat and its beautiful. Part of verse 4 reads, “This saving word that our forebears heard is the promise which holds us bound, till the spear and rod can be crushed by God, who is turning the world around.” This I believe speaks to God’s envisioning for the changing of the world. “The River is Here,” by Andy Park is both a fun tune, but also has a beautiful text. For example verse 1 reads, “Down the mountain the river flows and it brings refreshing wherever it goes. Through the valleys and over the fields the river is rushing and the river is here.” Which is immediately followed by the chorus, “The river of God sets our feet a dancing, the river of God fills our hearts with cheer. The river of God fills our mouths with laughter, and we rejoice for the river is here.” My wife and I like “The River is Here” so much we actually used it as one of the congregational songs at our wedding. There are plenty of songs that speak to the idea of God’s envisioning and help cast a vision of what that might be or look like.
So, what do you think? What does the idea that “God envisions” mean to you? What does that look like?
Until the next post in the series, “God Heals,” I look forward to your thoughts and the conversation.
Sources and Resources:
Rory Cooney, “Canticle of the Turning,” (Chicago, IL: GIA Publications, Inc., 1990), OneLicense, found in Evangelical Lutheran Worship, 723.
Andy Park, “The River is Here,” (Mercy/Vineyard Publishing, 1994), CCLI Song #1475231.
Image Credit: The Holy Trinity