While reading an article on the emerging movement for the elimination of nuclear-weapons in the latest issue of Relevant magazine, I was struck by the following statement:
"We live between two realities that we haven't seen: on the one side, the cross and resurrection; and on the other, the fulfillment of God's Kingdom...that is a redeemed creation. When Christians are faithful to this vision, there is a savor to our salt and a brightness to our light that the world needs badly."
We have heard of and believed in the cross and the resurrection. Now we wait for and hope for the redeemed creation. And it is this redeemed creation that I see when I dream of a world without extreme poverty, a world without hunger, a world without pollution.
Often, I encounter a kind of cynicism and pessimism that says these dreams cannot be achieved. Often, when I start listing off the statistics and tallying the odds, I encounter the same cynicism in myself. Poverty, hunger, global-warming--they seem to be immovable objects. Barriers that cannot be thrown aside no matter how large or how powerful the counterforce.
But when challenged with the idea of a redeemed creation, we can see a world without them because we can foresee the Kingdom of God. We stand in the midst of the good news brought near to us through Jesus Christ and the coming good news of the Kingdom of God and the splendor of the new creation. It is through these eyes that we see immovable objects moved--mountains thrown into the sea. And it is with these eyes that we act. Not to be ourselves savior of humanity and of creation, but instead to be living testimony of the redemptive vision of God.
In view of a redeemed creation, we need a new and redeemed imagination. A redemptive imagination that envisions creative solutions to the world's most pressing problems. A redemptive imagination that promotes freedom and effectively disbands the slave trade and sex-trafficking. A redemptive imagination that disarms and destroys conflicts between peoples and puts an end to genocide. A redemptive imagination that feeds every child and eradicates disease.
A redemptive imagination that knows no limits because it is fueled by a limitless God.
It is the redeemed imagination of Christ that can serve as our guide. Jesus took the tattered pieces of the Jewish nation, pieces of the Law that were meant to bring redemption, and rewove them through the limitless powers of His imagination into the redemptive power of the cross and the resurrection. That same imagination is now offered to us through the power of the Holy Spirit and the Word of God. It is intertwined with faith, hope and love. A redeemed imagination that envisions a redeemed creation.
With a redeemed imagination at our fingertips, the redemptive power of the cross and the resurrection behind us, and a redeemed creation before us--we can offer to the world an unmatched savor to our salt and brightness to our light. Both of which are desperately needed.