“We know that the whole creation has been groaning in labor pains until now; and not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly while we wait for adoption, the redemption of our bodies.” Romans 8:22-23
A birthing is happening. All of creation, ourselves included, groans as we wait for adoption and redemption.
Adoption, the action or fact of legally taking another’s child and bringing it up as one’s own or to be taken and brought up, is that for which all creation groans. Nurture and support are essential in our web of life and in our many connections. I was hiking a few days ago at Johnston Canyon. The day was cold. Minus 18 Celsius was the high. The sky was grey. Visibility was poor. Snow was lightly and gently falling. All was quiet except for our conversation and the squeaky, crunchy sound of walking on packed snow. As we looked into the frozen waters of Johnston Creek, we stopped at a place where the sound of the water could be heard still spilling downhill under the sheet of ice. At other places, the water could be seen. At the falls, the water was playfully bubbling up from behind and under the wall and floor of ice. Nature had worked her art in creating beautiful ice cycles that were truly magical and whimsical.
It occurred to me that here, in the cold of winter, birthing waters where flowing. Waters that take us and bring us life. Waters on which all life depends were undeterred by winter’s harshness. Water from above 2438 meters (8,000 feet) was still enthusiastically flowing from a high glacial valley. Water by refusing to surrender to winter’s cold supplies us with her gift every time a tap is turned.
In the wonder of this natural occurrence (mystery to me), I thought that in the quiet I heard water’s playful laughter and also her haunting cry, her groaning to be taken and nurtured.
The “whole creation” groans. In this web of connection, it is ours to take and bring to life that which takes us and gives us life. It is ours to redeem that which is given to us – to buy it back as it were – to protect, to share, to honour, and to respect.
The Malawi Water Project and work being accomplished in Canada to provide clean water to those who have none teaches me to value water. Being in nature drove it home in an experience of wonder and awe.
Creation longs for redemption. Creation is good. Celebrate and care for creation. Labour for new life – the birthing of a new day. Join in any way you can to participate in the United Church’s New Creed where we say that we “called to be the church, to celebrate God’s presence, and to live with respect in creation.” This planet, its life, its rhythm, and its gifts are ae amazing. I rejoice and give thanks.