The With-Us God | New Creation: The Incarnation of Shalom
After the dramatic destruction of the ring at Mount Doom, Sam Gamgee wakes from a semi-conscious state. Surprised to see Gandalf alive again, he exclaims, “Is everything sad going to come untrue? What’s happened to the world?” At this moment, every loose end is tied up, every sadness healed, every death reversed. The hope is that every story – most importantly, our own – can end with this sort of flourish. The truth is, it will.
In Christ’s arrival to Planet Earth, we do not merely see a God who takes pity on his languishing creation. Even more incredible, he steps into it in order to set things right. These responses alone would have told us much about God and merited our affectionate obedience. But the Grand Story of God redeeming his creation does not stop here: it goes on right to the point of dramatic resolution. His initial visit paves the way for his final, an introduction with a particular conclusion always in view. This being the re-creation, or as John records in Revelation: “And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, ‘Behold, I am making all things new.’” Jesus meets us not only as a torchbearer bringing light in an immediate darkness, but to illuminate an entirely new possibility of life.
John goes on to say that God himself will wipe away every tear from every eye and there will be “no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” These descriptions indicate Shalom, total well-being. In other words, all things function in accordance with the, Designer’s intended design.
As we celebrate Christ’s arrival during this Christmas time, let us look to the return it also foreshadows. That final moment where everything sad becomes untrue. This is not wish-fulfilment, but what has truly become of the world now that Christ has fulfilled the purposes of God.
Questions to reflect on this week:
- What sadness do you long to “become untrue”? How does Christ’s incarnation bring hope here?
- Which part of the Big Story of God – Creation, Fall, Rescue, New Creation – has impacted on you most this Advent season? Why?
Written by Mike Day | 2020