Cultivating the Earth

“If the Holy Spirit is not only a preacher that convicts people of sin and grace, but also a gardener, an artist, and an investor in creation who renews the material world, it cannot be more spiritual and God-honoring to be a preacher than to be a farmer, artist, or banker…” - Tim Keller

As Christians, we are on a constant journey, but we know the end. The end is a new heaven and a new earth. The end is described in Genesis 1-3 as a garden.
 
And according to Revelation, we are on a journey… back to the garden.
 
Unlike other major religions, Christianity does not promise destruction of the world but restoration of it. This is good news. The beauty that we celebrate, the relationships we build, and the systems we improve upon are not for nothing. We are part of an eternal restoration; we are in preparation for a grand welcome home party of a prodigal Earth.
 
What does this mean practically?

  1. The environment matters.
We are not on a mission to throw this world out as fast as we can and get a new one. We are in the redemption business with God. We are agents of restoration. This means that educating ourselves on environmentally conscious practices is divine work. It is kingdom-minded to recycle, compost, carpool, and consume mindfully. We are building toward eternity. 
         2. Reform matters.
The garden is the harmony of perfect order and perfect peace. Since the fall, we have been building broken systems. Broken schools, governments, churches, clubs, and committees are ancient and persistent. But our work to improve them is not in vain. In fact, it is completely necessary. Just as we live in broken bodies that are ‘wasting away,’ and we continue to take care of ourselves, we need to actively work toward healthier systems. The prejudice and pride that are at the helm of our most essential institutions are cancerous. This means that educating ourselves on social justice and taking action to the best of our ability is, you guessed it, divine work. Paul talks about this idea in Romans when he says,
 
“For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that  the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God. We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time.” - Romans 8:20-22

So, Biblically, we can acknowledge that a) the creation is in bondage to decay AND b) we are to fight for its liberation, freedom, and glory.
       3. Relationships matter. 
The intimacy of the garden is unmatched. The garden is the ultimate paradise of community and vulnerability. Adam and Eve did not have to set boundaries. They did not bring insecurity to the table. They trusted each other because they trusted God. We get to build this intimacy with God and one another. We get to invite others into restorative relationship.

So, what we do matters. Our work and efforts matter, but not as an end in themselves. Remember, we know the end. We are headed for a new Eden. And we are part of the solution. It is a wonderful paradox that is meant to free us from feeling paralyzed or prideful. Your work matters, but God has the final word. We march in joyful confidence in God’s great restoration parade as we cultivate the earth.

Author | Claire Jordan

Recent

Archive

 2021

Categories

no categories

Tags

1 Corinthians 1 Kings 1 Peter 2 Corinthians 2 Peter Aaron Vickroy Abba Abiding Abigail Bradley Abundance Accountability Actions Adam Salway Addiction Adoration Adventure Alafia Adeleke Alex Hinton Alignment Andrew Elder Andrew Smith Anger Anna DiCosty Anna Goellner Anointing Ansley Davenport Anxiety Armor of God Ashlyn Williams Ashton Brantley Asian American and Pacific Islander Month Aubrey Gold Authority Autumn Pressley Awakening Bailey Meyne Balance Beauty Becca Johnstone Becca Morgan Being Uncomfortable Being mortal Beloved Benji Johnston Bentley Clark Bethel Black History Month Blessing Body Image Body of Christ Boldness Boundaries Brad Schiebel Bravery Breakthrough Brittany Futch Brokenness Brooke DeLoach Brooklyn Holloway COVID-19 Caitlin Cooper Calling Calvary Cam Pace Caroline Barnes Caroline Beasley Caroline Newton Carolyn McLain Celebration Change Charlie Knox Child-like Chloe Glass Chosen Christina Hensley Christlikeness Christmas Survival Guide Christmas Claire Jordan Clarity Colorado Comfort Commitment Communion Community Comparison Compassion Complacency Confidence Connection Consistency Contentment Control Conviction Correction Counseling Courage Covenants Creativity Cristina Rosiles Dating Decisions Dependency Depth Desperation Devon Radford Disappointment Discernment Discipleship Leadership Blog Discipleship Discipline Distraction Diversity Division Doubt Dreams Dutch Williams Easter Eat the Book El Roi El Shaddai Elders Elijah Elizabeth Sprinkle Ellie Knight Ellyzsa Valencia Emily Baker Emily Goldin Emily Helton Emily Summers Emma Kate Shelton Emma Whitmer Emmanuel Fortuchang Emotions Empathy Emptiness Encountering God Encounter Encouragement Rooms Endurance Enough Environment Envy Erin Gilleland Eternity Evan Correa Evangelism Exodus Expectation Faithfulness Faith Family Fear of the Lord Fear Feeling Lost Feeling Safe Fernanda Lima Forgiveness Fredom Freedom Freely Given Freshley Friendship Fruits of the Spirit Fun Future Garner Gay Generosity Genesis Gentleness Gift Giving Giving Glory of God God as a Father God is Smart God is with us God's Character God's Heart God's Names God's Plans God's Plan God's Power God's Presence God's Promises God's Timing God's Voice God's Will God\'s Character God\'s Heart God\'s Names God\'s Plans God\'s Plan God\'s Power God\'s Presence God\'s Promises God\'s Timing God\'s Voice God\'s Will God\\\'s Character God\\\'s Heart God\\\'s Names God\\\'s Plans God\\\'s Plan God\\\'s Power God\\\'s Presence God\\\'s Promises God\\\'s Voice God\\\'s Will God\\\\\\\'s Character God\\\\\\\'s Presence God\\\\\\\'s Voice Government Grace Gratitude Guatemala Guidance Haley Blanchard Haley Hall Hallie Turner Hannah Cole Healing Heart Posture Heaven Hinds Feet on High Places Hispanic Heritage Month History of Prayer History of Revival History of Wesley Holidays Holiness Holly Avera Holy Spirit Holy Week Home Honor Hope Hospitality Humility Hunger Hunter MacInnis I Am Ian Burkes Identity Idols Image of God Imagination Influence Inheritance Intention Intercession Interning Intimacy Isolation Jake Stephens Jamaica Jamie Cherf Jealousy Jennifer Daniel Jessie Thomas Jesus John Wesley John Joseph Josh DeRamus Journaling Joy Judgment Julia Baughn Justice Justin Patton Kalli Drake Karla Sanchez Tavera Katherine Burnette Katie Courson Katie Pilson Katie Pitner Katy Smith Kelley Losinger Kelly Losinger Kelsey Parham Kennedy Browning Kimberly Klaer Kindness Kingdom Knowing God Knowledge Known Kourtney Axelberg Kristen Fikse Kyle Pickett Language Latinx Heritage Month Lauren Forbes Leadership Legacy Lia Herrera Life Light Lindsey Conway Listening Living Water Living with God Logic Loneliness Longing Los Angeles Loss Love Languages Love Luvlan Lee Mackenzie Wells Maddie Marsh Madeline Current Madelyn Livingston Madison Davis Makinizi Hoover Mariah Foote Mariah Taylor Marlena Sculac Marriage Martin Luther King Jr. Matthew Maturity Melissa Merrick Mental Health Mercy Meredith Ashburn Messiah Michael Weidner Miracles Missions Morgan Attebery Mourning Names Narnia Nashville Natalie Mata Nathan DeYoung New Covenant New Year Obedience Old Covenant Olivia Beals Olivia Ellis Openness Outreach Pain Partnership Passover Past Paul Peace Perfection Perseverance Perspective Peter Pharisees Philippians Power Praise Prayer Guide Prayer Meetings Prayer Pride Processing Prophecy Protection Provision Psalm 23 Psalms Purity Purpose Rachel Dow Rachel Erin Taylor Rachel Henderson Rachel Jones Racial Healing Racial Reconciliation Rebecca Mejia Recipes Reconciliation Red Rising Redemption Refinement Reflection Reform Refreshing Relationship Remedy Repentance Resolutions Resources Responsibility Restoration Rest Resurrection Reverence Revival Rhythm Righteousness Riley Orr Risk Romance Romans 8 Romans Rosalie Vendrell Ruth Sabbath Sacrifice Salvation Sam Adams Sam Carroll Sam Darby Samantha Forbes Samantha Richey Sanctification Sarah Savoie Savannah Shaw Savannah Ugan Scripture Seasons Secrets of the Secret Place Seeking God Selah Self-love Sermon on the Mount Serving Shaking Shame Sidney Counsell Singleness Sin Slowing Solitude Sorrow Sovereignty Spiritual Disciplines Spiritual Gifts Spiritual Health Spiritual Themes Spiritual Warfare Status Steadfastness Stephanie Seda Stephanie Stewart Strength Stress Struggles Suffering Summer Survival Guide Summer of Psalms Summer Surrender Temple Temptation Tenderness Tension Testimony Thankfulness The Beatitudes The Church The Cross The Gospel The Law The Lord's Prayer The Lord\'s Prayer The Lord\\\'s Prayer The Prodigal Son The Road to Life The Secret Place The Shack The Ten Commandments The Trinity The Word of God Therapy Tori Kramer Transformation Transition Trust Truth Uncertainty Unity Urgency Values Victory Vision Vulnerability Wandering Wednesday Night Recap Who Am I Wilderness Wisdom Wonder Word for the Year Words Worship Worth