I was thinking this morning about recent events in the lives of people and families that I know. A word popped into my mind: “brokenness”. I Googled the term “brokenness of the world” to see if there would be a response of some kind. I was overwhelmed.
Many deny there is any brokenness in the world. “That’s just the way it is,” is their cry. Many see brokenness and only see despair, defeat, and demoralized people. However, many find brokenness in their worlds and are astute enough to recognize it for what it is; the result of sin coming into the creation. Most of the web pages I looked at which referenced the world’s brokenness also referred to the cure for it…Jesus Christ and his atoning sacrifice on the cross. And although some of the theology differed on minor points in the blogs, articles, and writings, the main point strongly emerged that one of these days the world would no longer be broken. The creation would no longer groan longing for release. And we ourselves would no longer groan longing to be released from the bondage of sin and death.
We find brokenness everywhere. Bad things happen. Bad things happen to people. Bad things happen to good people. We become ill. We mess up a relationship. We are in an auto accident. A friend contracts terminal cancer. A newborn dies. Tornadoes rip up lives and property. Greed causes someone to lose everything they own. A suicide bomber takes out many civilians. A child is abused and tortured. War kills. The tsunami cares not who or what is in its path. Evil rulers cause death, strife, and suffering. Fairness goes out the window. The homeless are living under the bridge just outside the building. We have to declare bankruptcy. Your friend commits suicide. A politician gives in to lust and power. AIDS still defies a cure. An airliner falls out of the sky. And make no mistake…the cause of the brokenness in the world is sin and the consequences of sin. Arguments about whether it was Adam’s sin or the sins of all of us are really immaterial. The cause is sin.
God’s plan has always been the redemption of his creation. “For God so loved the world,” says John. Not just mankind, but the world…the creation. John also says he saw “a new heavens and a new earth,” in his visions recorded in Revelation, an earth that has been redeemed and made new, and the throne of God among his people. Where there would be no more weeping, no more sickness, no more death. Where there would be no more hunger, no more thirst, no more sorrow.
God calls us to work with him; to go where he is going; to follow his agenda. We are called to be salt and light. We are called to feed the hungry, heal the sick, and visit those in prison. We are called to the vision of a redeemed creation and a new relationship with the one who created it all.
Yes, we will continue to visit the sick. We will continue to attend funerals. We will continue to provide food, clothing, and shelter to those in need. The needs will continue to be overwhelming at times. The brokenness will seem to close in from all sides. And it’s at that time that we remember the words of our Lord as John recorded his vision of the new heavens and the new earth, “Behold, I am making all things new.”