“We know that the whole creation has been groaning in labor pains until now; and not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly while we wait for adoption, the redemption of our bodies.” (Romans 8:22-23, NRSV)
These verses, and the verses for today’s Epistle reading, are a glimpse into St. Paul’s take on what God is up to and what God will eventually accomplish. God’s work does not involve blowing the earth into cosmic dust or changing us into cosmic energy or disembodied souls. Whatever He is up to involves the redemption of creation itself, including our bodies. The creation can be dangerous and our bodies can betray us at many levels. Yet God is choosing to somehow renew, not destroy, both, in ways we cannot now possibly imagine.
God of Creation, you are present in the creation around us and in your creatures. As you came to us in our shape and form as Jesus, give us the grace to see Christ in the faces of others. Give us the will to care for your creation, creatures, and others as You care for them. Amen.
– Fr. Larry Parrish, St. Thomas Episcopal Church