For: The Institute Of Contemporary And Emerging Worship Studies, St. Stephen’s University, Essentials Blue Online Worship Theology Course with Dan Wilt

First, let me start off by catching up from last Sunday.  I decided it’s time to be more intentional about expressing a broader collection of the truths of God, rather than focus on a small subset of them that our body is familiar with, during our worship time on Sunday mornings.  It was quite a challenge, but I figure when you alter one’s diet a little, it’s going to take some adjusting.  It was good – worship was good, but I could feel some roadblocks as I moved from songs that speak of more familiar things to a song which is essentially a cry for justice that one of my team members wrote called “Arise”.

We finished the set with the Jeremy Riddle song “As Children”.  It seems that the momentum never quite got back to the downswing.  But, I think this is going to be a good season regarding the worship in our church.  Okay, now on to my new found thoughts for this week…

Something that has really caught my attention over the past couple of weeks is what God speaks in Revelation 21:5 … “Behold, I make all things new.”…  What does that mean?  A crazy thought entered my mind while speaking with my pastor about some of this (he is reading through an N.T. Wright book entitled Surprised by Hope: Rethinking Heaven, the Resurrection, and the Mission of the Church).  What is my body going to look like when it is made new?  What if I’m cremated instead of buried?  I mean, Jesus still has his scars…  (a scary thought if you’ve ever considered being cremated!).

Seriously – think about it!  Have you lived life longing for this world and all of its filth and imperfection to be done away with while you are transported to a place that is so much better?  I know I have!  But what if what will really happen is that the world and, for that matter, all of creation isn’t done away with, but instead made new?  I like the way my four year old son put it: “When everything is made new, it will be shiny.”

One of the ideas that I have been examining while reading through Part II of Simply Christian: Why Christianity Makes Sense, by N.T. Wright, is that while at one time in history the Temple in Jerusalem was where heaven and earth intersected, that it is no longer so.  Instead, Jesus himself is the place where heaven and earth intersect [1].  As well, we have been given the Spirit so that we can become part of what Jesus himself was [2] – in other words, those who have received the Spirit are the place where heaven and earth intersect!

Whoa!  I am a place where heaven and earth intersect – where the kingdom of God is breaking in to my present reality!  What does that mean?  What happens when heaven intersects with earth?  What does it look like happening through me?  I believe it is as Wright puts it – that we can be both part of the new creation in advance, and someone through whom it begins to happen here and now. [3]

This has had a radical influence as I reflect on various moments in my past and realize what effect this revelation would have had on the way I approach leading worship, praying for people, or even simply living life.  For me today, I believe that one of the ways I am going to see new creation come about through me is in the area of marriage.  God has planted a vision in my wife’s and my heart to see the rate of divorce reduced in our community.  I can see the power of new creation affecting marriages in a profound way.  What if it’s possible for a wife to fully trust her husband again after that trust has been violated?  What if it’s possible for a husband to passionately love his wife after years of disappointment?

Rather than continue spilling out my thoughts here, I’d like to stop and instead pose this question: What does new creation happening through your own life here and now look like?  I welcome you to post your replies.

To the King,

[1] N.T. Wright, Simply Christian: Why Christianity Makes Sense (San Francisco: HarperCollins Publishers, 2006), 94
[2] Ibid., 124
[3] Ibid., 126