Romans 8:18-28 (NIV)
18 I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. 19 For the creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed. 20 For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope 21 that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God. 22 We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. 23 Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption to sonship, the redemption of our bodies. 24 For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have? 25 But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently. 26 In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. 27 And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God. 28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
Heal Country, heal our nation
July 4th -11th 2021 is Naidoc week in Australia. It is a time to listen, learn and celebrate together the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. This year Naidoc week is themed “Heal Country, heal our nation.” Heal Country is a call to seek greater protection of lands, waters, sacred sites and cultural heritage. Our daily digests this week will focus on God’s creation and our part in it.
All of creation is longing to be healed, to be renewed. The author of Romans says that the whole of creation is groaning and frustrated by its current state. It longs for liberation from bondage to decay and it hopes for a future of freedom and glory. This passage describes all of creation, including us, as being wrapped up in the present crisis’s and in patient anticipation for God’s purposes to be finally fulfilled.
For us who believe in Jesus, we have already been set free from bondage, by his victory over sin and death. Through the Spirit we continue to be transformed to Christ’s likeness and are empowered to live now as children of God bringing liberation and life to both people and the earth. When Jesus returns this work will be complete and we will partake in the new heavens and the new earth.
With this wonderful future in mind, what about living now, as people set free and empowered to bring life and hope to people and to creation, how ought we live? What can we do to bring healing to country and to these lands we now call Australia? How can we learn from one another? We can change as individuals, but there are also whole system changes needed as well. Australia’s First Nations Peoples have much to show us and teach us about these topics.
I personally have been so challenged by First Nations Peoples way of living, for example, the consideration they show to the land and the natural resources around them. What I have had the opportunity to observe has challenged me to consider my lifestyle and change several of my behaviours. For example, I have become more conscious of my water consumption over recent years, using less, being more conservative with water usage and seeking out less harmful products for cleaning purposes. We are called to be good stewards of the things we have been given, and we have been given much more than just money, houses, and cars. This precious land, these beautiful waters, the bush, all this wonderful flora and fauna – we are blessed!
Let’s seek out and continue to live in ways that bring healing to country and to these lands.
Written by Ps. Zoe Stewart