Each Christmas Dan and I try to decorate with a different theme in mind. We've taken our pastors great idea and made ornaments with the different names of Jesus on them and on the back put the verses where they are found. Last Year was Star of Wonder and we had colored lights and the brightest colored balls and all kinds of stars on our tree and anything that looked of awe and wonder we put it on our tree. This Year we decided that "let heaven and nature sing" would be our theme.
We know that heaven is a splendid glorious place and that the earth is groaning for redemption and the coming of Christ. We know that we have a son in Heaven and a daughter on Earth. We know that in Heaven the angels sing yet they long to understand the wonders of Salvation, we on earth have been marred by sin and still have to wallow and fight it daily, but we KNOW the wonders of Salvation and the gift of this Baby's birth and life and death for us! In heaven there is no more tears, sorrow, grief, only joy! On earth we have many tears, sorrows and overwhelming grief but we are still called to have joy in those!
Even though I know that Asher is in the greatest place imaginable and beholding the face of his Savior. I am still looking forward to the Day when there will be a New Heaven AND a New Earth! Why a new Heaven? I don't know honestly, but I know all things will be made new and heaven was included in that all things. So even Heaven as perfect of a place as it is, looks forward to a day where it too will be made new! I am so glad that my son is also longing for His second coming. I want Zoe to long for that as well. I know Dan and I do. So while Heaven worships and Earth Groans..... Let both Heaven AND Nature Sing for the Hope that is already ours! Come Quickly Lord Jesus!
(the gold and stars represent the glories of heaven and the rafia and brown wrapping paper represent the dirt and hay of the earth, and the pink is just a special touch just for Zoe!)
“All that has enriched and honoured the life of all nations in all history will be brought in to enrich the new creation. The new creation will not be a blank page, as if God will simply crumple up the whole of human historical life in this creation and toss it in the cosmic bin, and then hand us a new sheet to start all over again. The new creation will start with the unimagineable reservoir of all that human civilization has accomplished in the old creation – but purged, cleansed, disinfected, sanctified and blessed. And we shall have eternity to enjoy it and to build upon it in ways we cannot dream of now as we will exercise the powers of creativity of our redeemed humanity.
Think of the prospect! All human culture, language, literature, art, music, science, business, sport, technological achievement, – actual and potential - all available to us. All of it with the poison of evil and sin sucked out of it forever. All of it glorifying God. All of it under his loving and approving smile. All of it for us to enjoy with God and indeed being enjoyed by God. And all eternity for us to explore it, understand it, appreciate it, and expand it.
If this is the new creation that the Bible promises, you can understand why I don’t want just to ‘go to heaven when I die.’ Who wants just heaven, when God promises heaven and earth?”
—Christopher Wright, The God I Don’t Understand (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2009)
(HT: Justin Taylor)