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Sunday Devotion: Reversing Eden, Restoring Paradise

Posted Apr 16, 2017

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Daily Scripture

John 19:41

There was a garden in the place where Jesus was crucified, and in the garden was a new tomb in which no one had ever been laid.

John 20:1, 11-16

Early in the morning of the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb and saw that the stone had been taken away from the tomb. She… stood outside near the tomb, crying. As she cried… she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she didn't know it was Jesus. Jesus said to her, "Woman, why are you crying? Who are you looking for?"  Thinking he was the gardener, she replied, "Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him and I will get him."

Jesus said to her, "Mary."  She turned and said to him in Aramaic, "Rabbouni" (which means Teacher).

Revelation 22:1-3a

Then the angel showed me the river of life-giving water, shining like crystal, flowing from the throne of God and the Lamb through the middle of the city's main street. On each side of the river is the tree of life…. The tree's leaves are for the healing of the nations. There will no longer be any curse.

Devotion

As a child, I often took refuge in the woods. As a teenager, I argued with my parents about whether or not the park was also an appropriate place to be on Sunday mornings. As a young adult, I was unable to fully embrace atheism in part because of the way I felt when I was on a mountaintop or in a forest. However, it wasn’t until a few years ago, when I “accidentally” discovered The Green Bible that I began to understand why. My innate desires to be in nature, to be restored by it, in awe of it, and to take care of it is part of who we are created to be.

Prior to the biblical text in The Green Bible, there is an essay called "Jesus is Coming – Plant a Tree" by former Bishop N.T. Wright. In it, Wright explains that Jesus wasn’t crucified and resurrected so that God’s people could “enjoy a relaxing endless vacation in a place called ‘heaven.’” Instead, he writes, “Jesus came to make the ultimate redemption and restoration of creation possible…. We must be God’s agents in bringing, at the very least, signs of that renewal in the present time.”

As God’s “agents” we recognize that although the natural world is beautiful, fascinating and useful, it is not ours. Like the servants in the parables of the Talents or Minas, (Matthew 25:14 and Luke 19:12) it has just been entrusted to us for a limited amount of time. How can we use the resources we’ve been given (natural, spiritual, and other) to help mend creation’s broken hallelujahs? As we consider the unfathomable love of our Creator this spring and “pick up our crosses” (read: put to death our selfish desires), let’s give thanks and praise to “him who by the power at work within us is able to accomplish far more than all we can ask or imagine” (Ephesians 3:17-20).

 - Erin Chacey, co-leader of EarthCOR

Prayer

Holy God,

We thank you, especially today on Easter, that Jesus was willing, not just to give up his life for us but to show us the hope we have through resurrection. We thank you for Jesus’ loving sacrifice and example. Fill us with your Holy Spirit. Remind us daily that the resurrected Christ walks beside us and gives us new life.

In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

 - Angela LaVallie Tinsley, Funeral & Prayer Ministry

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Erin Chacey

Erin Chacey

Erin Chacey started attending Resurrection in the summer of 2012, and joined in May, 2014. Inspired by the Alpha course, she launched the current version of the EarthCOR ministry in the fall of 2015. Her two young children, husband, dog and EarthCOR keep her life full. In the past, Erin has canoed with hippos and flown on a trapeze.

As a child, I often took refuge in the woods. As a teenager, I argued with my parents about whether or not the park was also an appropriate place to be on Sunday mornings. As a young adult, I was unable to fully embrace atheism in part because of the way I felt when I was on a mountaintop or in a forest. However, it wasn’t until a few years ago, when I “accidentally” discovered The Green Bible that I began to understand why. My innate desires to be in nature, to be restored by it, in awe of it, and to take care of it is part of who we are created to be.

Prior to the biblical text in The Green Bible, there is an essay called "Jesus is Coming – Plant a Tree" by former Bishop N.T. Wright. In it, Wright explains that Jesus wasn’t crucified and resurrected so that God’s people could “enjoy a relaxing endless vacation in a place called ‘heaven.’” Instead, he writes, “Jesus came to make the ultimate redemption and restoration of creation possible…. We must be God’s agents in bringing, at the very least, signs of that renewal in the present time.”

As God’s “agents” we recognize that although the natural world is beautiful, fascinating and useful, it is not ours. Like the servants in the parables of the Talents or Minas, (Matthew 25:14 and Luke 19:12) it has just been entrusted to us for a limited amount of time. How can we use the resources we’ve been given (natural, spiritual, and other) to help mend creation’s broken hallelujahs? As we consider the unfathomable love of our Creator this spring and “pick up our crosses” (read: put to death our selfish desires), let’s give thanks and praise to “him who by the power at work within us is able to accomplish far more than all we can ask or imagine” (Ephesians 3:17-20).

Looking for GPS Guide? Scroll to the top of this page and click the GPS Guide tab!

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