The World is Good

The days are running into each other. I’m not reminded of Groundhog Day, at least not yet, but my general motivation waxes and wanes by the moment. Some days seem doable and I’m ready to do all the things. Other days, I wonder why it really matters whether or not I get up with my alarm. Spring is blossoming in our yard and I’m thankful for the reminders of growth, new life, and beginnings. But with the warmer weather, I’m achingly reminded that we can’t hang out with our neighbors; that our kids are incapable of riding bikes without getting too close.

It’s an odd season of blessings and loses. All the things I’m so grateful for are simultaneously stark reminders of things we are missing.

Early in our social distancing turned stay at home journey, I watched a sermon from our old church. The opening song was All Things New by Andrew Peterson. The refrain has stuck with me the past few weeks as we have sweet moments and hard moments:

The world was good
The world is fallen
The world is being redeemed

All Things New by Andrew Peterson

I don’t think I’m alone when I say that these days are filled with higher highs and lower lows than usual. Our family is connecting and the girls are playing together in the sweetest ways. But there’s also tender emotions and underlying anxieties that are simmering just below the surface. These weeks – and the weeks to come – are truly a lesson in living in the tension of liminality.

When I first listened to this song, I started to cry. Rachael, the co-pastor of Highlands Church in charge of worship, had slightly changed the lyrics from past tense to present: The world is good. When life feels hard and overwhelming; when I just want an end date; when I want clear directions and guidance from people who know more than me; when my heart aches for those whose homes aren’t safe and who can’t use this time in productive ways, I remember that what gives me hope is that the world is good right now and that the world is being redeemed right now.

But in the middle of the good and the redeemed, we remember the world is also fallen. I don’t think fallen means bad but it is a reminder of how very broken we are. Our systems are broken and are failing so many vulnerable people; our earth is broken and overextended from our constant use; our bodies are broken and unable to fight this disease.

In many ways, I’m thankful that this is happening in the midst of Lent, Holy Week, and Easter. This is the whole point, right? That our hope is in the redemption. We don’t live in the brokenness, though that is certainly part of reality – both now and in normal times. We remember the goodness of our world now and the world that is to be.

How are you experiencing the goodness in the midst of the fallen? Where are you finding your hope during this particular moment?

Remembering It is Good

One of my favorite translations of the creation story comes from Bea’s Jesus Storybook Bible. In it, God exclaims, “You’re good!” after creating the light, the land, the animals, and people. It captures God’s excitement as creation is declared good and perfect.

IMG_7371

Thinking about this redemptive season and how all things are madeĀ good again comes naturally with spring and Easter. Flowers awakening from winter; trees budding; the season of Lent and then the remembrance of Holy Week bring us around again to the restoration of the earth.

Today, we remember that exclamation of, “You’re good!” Perhaps it’s in the solemn context of death and the cross, but we have the ability to rejoice in what is coming. Because Jesus came to reconcile, it is good.

As we move into the Easter season, I remember that when I work toward restoring a perfect creation, it is good. As we do justice and love kindness, it is good. As we seek hope and love, it is good. As we focus on healing the wounded, it is good.

As we turn our eyes toward a restored creation and work toward that vision, I believe God is saying, “You’re good!”

Linked with Kate Motaung’s Five Minute Friday, a time to write without editing.