The Mysterious Unity of Creation
As we get closer to Easter, one of the theological issues that comes up is the sin of the world. Why would God have to resolve it? Why not just hit the cosmic do-over button? Why did someone or something have to die?
The problem with the language that most of us were given is that Sin and sins get mixed up. God’s problem is not that you lied on that job application when you were 23. That is a problem, but it is not the problem.
The problem is the Sin that “little” sin represents. The Sin of the World is a phrase that shows up in the Gospel of John when John the Baptist points out Jesus, “Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the Sin of the World.” That Sin is the gap between what God intended and what we have.
God made us in the beginning to be his image bearers, like a child bears the image of their parent, in the world. We were to be in Creation physically as God was spiritually, giving life and tending to life. But we did not do that. We do not do that. We “fall short of the glory of God,” as Paul puts it in his letter to the Romans.
The world has then fallen away from its original trajectory. The repercussions of generations of Sin are with us all the time, in our personal lives, our national life, and in the world.
But as we heard last week, “God so loved the world that he sent his Son” to change our understanding of God. When we are so far from God through our participation in the world, we can end up fearing God and feeling completely cut off from any relationship at all.
So the Good News of Jesus is really good news indeed. God loves us. God loves the Creation. And God wants us to start over. The cross is our evidence of the nature of that God, not that something had to die to appease him, but that he has turned so far away from vengeance and wrath that he would rather die than destroy us. “Forgive them, Father, for they know not what they do.”
Now you know where the story is headed. God the Creator loves you. And he will not solve the problem of our sin with only death, but he will solve it with new life.
In our day, we can really use the new life. Some of us are starting to feel it with vaccines and good weather. But now our work begins as God’s children again. We are to bring that new life to others through our acts of mercy, service, forgiveness, and generosity.
How are you getting ready for new life? How are you sharing that new life with others?
Join us Sunday as we go deeper into the journey to Easter by way of the Cross.
The Very Rev. Daniel P. Richards
Christ Church of the Ascension
Paradise Valley, AZ 85253