The heavens declare the glory of God. Even creation in its fallen state, as the Scriptures reassure, so reflects the character of her Creator so as to leave rebellious men and women without excuse. There is enough in a sunset, a coastline, an intricate bloom or a starlit evening to cause the searching heart to believe.
Which is not to suggest that creation accurately portraits the glory of God in any full or final way. On the contrary, the Bible describes creation as subject to frustration, co-labouring with humanity under the consequences of sin, longing for promised liberty that awaits it at the renewal of all things. Both Jesus and Paul likened the hope into which we have been saved. The agonies of the present age the birth pangs of our salvation. Christ’s apocalypse (unveiling) will be the consummation of our redemption and the unveiling the new heavens and the new earth.
It was this metaphor that the Lord used to when engaging us as a local church about 2021 at the end of last year. This year we would see the promises crown, He said. The prophetic word could not be clearer. The crowning of a baby is the first glimpse of the head, but with the infant still in the birth canal. And the promises in question are possibly best encapsulated in Isaiah 54, a wonderful chapter sketching out benefits of the New Covenant in broad, experiential, grace-laden strokes. Those of us who have been a part of our local church for any length understood immediately. I write to keep a record.
Little commentary is needed. A crowning baby is still in the birth canal, but visible. At that point the birth pains are arguable at their most intense. Attention is on the baby. So be it with us, O Lord! Creation travails. The church travails also, in hope-filled intercession, for all God’s promises are yes and amen in Christ Jesus!