The Thistle

Covenant Seminary Alumni Devotional: Redemption and Residue: Me, and All Things, New

And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” – Revelation 21:5 (ESV)

There is this moment in the movie The Passion of the Christ, that if I’ve held it together thus far, I will absolutely loose it. Jesus is making his way through the streets with the cross, falls, and Mary helps him up. He looks at her and says “Behold, I make all things new.” I burst into tears at that point. It just wrecks me; and the reason why is a huge part of my story.

And he’s still doing it. He is making all things new.

Sin has ravaged our bodies and our hearts. The fall didn’t just create a gap between us and God, it broke our hearts. When sin entered the world, everything changed. This residue sin leaves behind can take many forms: feelings of inadequacy, uncertainty, shame, or guilt. Sin has brought all these feelings upon us. Here’s the good news of this: These are the feelings God wants to restore. He wants to lead us to a place of joy and love, and out of this place of despair and wounding and into beautiful redemption.

Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him. Psalm 37:7 (ESV)

Healing an injury is usually a big inconvenience. We want so badly to be the way we were; sometimes we try too soon to go on as usual. In the process, we re-injure it, having to start all over. His restoration of our souls should be treated the same way. It’s often a slow process, and the hard part here is accepting God’s timing as being better than your own. It lies in fully trusting that God will fulfill his promises, and pursue us with unrelenting love. It lies in seeing the redemption amidst the residue.

Batter My Heart , by John Donne

Batter my heart, three-person’d God, for you
As yet but knock, breathe, shine, and seek to mend;
That I may rise and stand, o’erthrow me, and bend
Your force to break, blow, burn, and make me new.
I, like an usurp’d town to’another due,
Labor to’admit you, but oh, to no end;
Reason, your viceroy in me, me should defend,
But is captiv’d, and proves weak or untrue.
Yet dearly’I love you, and would be lov’d fain,
But am betroth’d unto your enemy;
Divorce me,’untie or break that knot again,
Take me to you, imprison me, for I,
Except you’enthrall me, never shall be free,
Nor ever chaste, except you ravish me. 

Stephanie Nelson (MAEM ’10)
Director of Family Life
First Presbyterian Church, Casa Grande, AZ