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

From before the world began, God had and still has a perfect plan. That plan includes man, who God made in his likeness, or image [1]. We have been fearfully and wonderfully made [2].

Our souls have been infected with the image-bending and even imaging-breaking sickness of sin, which was introduced to humanity through the first image-bearer, Adam. This brokeness continually causes us to gravitate towards doing what is wrong, even when we know what is right. In order to conquer sin, God sent his only begotten son Jesus, who became the only perfect human, to bear the punishment for our sin, which is death. [3]

The story does not end there. God resurrected Jesus from the dead. And in doing so, death itself has been conquered and we have inherited eternal life. Though still broken, we are a beautiful creation because of the one whose image we reflect.

Through Jesus’ first coming, death, and resurrection, the future has broken into the present. God’s perfect plan to make all things new, which has existed in the realm of heaven, has now begun to be realized, in part, in the earth because heaven and earth now overlap and intersect.

Part of the beauty of God’s plan for making all things new is that he uses us as agents of new creation, rather than us be simply beneficiaries of God’s new creation [4]. We are points of intersection of heaven and earth [5]. When heaven breaks in to the earth, things are made new. Creation becomes as it was intended to be. People are made whole. The poor, outcast, and marginalized are blessed. Families and communities are restored and relationships resurrected. We become not only re-tellers of the story, but become part of the story itself. [6]

As we approach the last days, we do not look forward to leaving this world and our old, tired, wretched bodies behind. Instead, we look forward to a new heaven and a new earth which are no longer separated but are one [7]. We look forward to the full realization of all things being made new [8]. We look forward to the resurrection of all those who have surrendered their hearts to the King [9]. We look forward to worshiping the King, in all his glory, with the surrender of lives that have been made fully human, fully alive, and therefore fully glorifying to God.

[1] II Timothy 1:9
[2] Psalm 139:14
[3] 2 Corinthians 5:21
[4] N.T. Wright, Simply Christian: Why Christianity Makes Sense (San Francisco: HarperCollins Publishers, 2006), xi
[5] Ibid, 116
[6] Dan Wilt, Essentials in Worship Theology: The Nature of Worship Audio (New Brunswick: St. Stephen’s University, 2008)
[7] Revelation 21:1
[8] Revelation 21:5
[9] Revelation 20:12-15