Monday, August 06, 2007

Living Out Scripture meme

I've been tagged by Jason and Frank to post "that verse or story of scripture which is important to you, which you find yourself re-visiting time after time". This meme was started by andygoodliff, and was inspired by an interesting quote from David Ford that he records.

Like everyone else, I could have listed many passages: Psalm 1; 23; 27; 40; 137; Isaiah 40-44.8; Ezekiel 37.1-14; Daniel 7.1-14; Matthew 5.3-10; Mark 16.1-8; John 1.1-18; Romans 5.12-21; 1 Corinthians 15 (esp vv. 21-28); Philippians 2.5-11; Colossians 1.15-20; Revelation 21.1-5 - and if I kept thinking, I'm sure there would quickly be more. But anyone who has been reading this blog for a while will probably not be surprised that I have picked this one:

I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory about to be revealed to us. For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the children of God; for the creation was subjected to futility, not of its own will but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to decay and will obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. We know that the whole creation has been groaning in labour 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. For in hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what is seen? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.

- Romans 8.18-24

Hope, suffering, groaning, resurrection, the liberation and renewal of creation: these themes have helped structure this blog (to the extent that a slowly growing collection of thoughts with an eschatological flavour has structure). I have discussed this passage at length and it has often been near at hand. Amongst other things this passage reminds us that there is more to God's world than us (grounding a form of evangelical environmentalism), that suffering for now is normal (undermining any idea of a prosperity gospel, yet giving a solid basis to perseverence), that hope means groaning and yearning (contra apathy or any form of quietism), that resurrection is the content of our -and creation's - hope (affirming the goodness of the created order and yet the necessity for transformative renewal), that the Spirit also groans (overturning some common ideas about God) and that freedom and glory lie in the future (overcoming despair).

I tag:
Andrew (= John 11), Benjamin, Craig, Drew (= Mark 9.24), Mandy (= Romans 5.1-11), Michael (= Colossians 1.15-20) and Rachel (= Revelation 21.1-5).
Eight points for guessing the body of water.


Matthew Moffitt said...

Hawkesbury River?

Donna said...

Hungry for more points, MORE!

I think I know where it is, but don't know what it's called: is it Pittwater?

(Yet another lovely photo, by the way).

Anonymous said...

Tag accepted.

byron smith said...

Moffitt - no.

Donna - yes. Eight points.

AndrewE - thanks, I'll have a look.

byron smith said...

(And thanks, BTW).

Rachel said...

oooh i've stood where that photo was taken (i'm pretty sure) but i don't know what it's called.

thanks for the tag. i will blog it soon.

Benjamin Ady said...


I'm gonna have to ponder this one a bit.

"that verse or story of scripture which is important to you, which you find yourself re-visiting time after time"

The thing is I hardly open the bible anymore. at all. for a good ... 2 years, I'm thinking.

I ponder some of the words of Jesus sometimes though. and some of the words of Solomon. I shall have to ponder.

byron smith said...

Benjamin - I thought it might give you an excuse to rediscover more in the Bible than what was drilled into you as a young person (or to find that though it might have been misused, life-affirming uses exist).