Wednesday, September 10, 2008

“Wow Dad, look at the whole world!” - Cross Purposes 133

Cross Purposes 133

September 10 2008

“Wow Dad, look at the whole world!”

Sometime before we left Canberra in 1999 to come to Sydney I cut out a little snippet from “The Canberra Times”. I didn’t record the date. In that snippet a bloke called Rob Cameron reported what his daughter Lucinda said:

“Last Saturday morning we were driving along Hindmarsh Drive from Fyshwick over the crest of Red Hill and down into Woden; she exclaimed as the valley unfolded before her: ‘Wow Dad, look at the whole world!’ “

I often drove that road and experienced the same joy of the world opening up before one’s eyes. To the left one could look out toward the Brindabella Mountains in the distance. Straight ahead were the delightful Stromlo Forests as a backdrop to the many Canberra Suburbs in Woden and Weston Creek. (Did you know that Canberra is often described as a “city built in a park”?)

Should you have chanced in that same view after the 2003 firestorm that roared out of the same Brindabellas, through those Stromlo forests and into many Canberra suburbs, you only have been able to say with grief “Oh God, look at the whole world!”

The contrast between “before” and “after” the fire is a reminder of the “before” and “after” of the fall. That which is beautiful and flawless is seared and broken. There are now weeds, and sickness and death. Sin got in, the devil got a hold, death reigns and there’s lots of misery for the earths’ inhabitants. Whereas before the ‘Son’ could say “Wow Dad, look at the whole world!” now he looks to his ‘Father’ and says “Oh Dad, look at the whole world!”

But there’s hope too. In Canberra, that which was ravaged is being renewed and restored. Houses are rebuilt. The bush regenerates. Nature’s healing is well underway.

And hope for the whole earth? Yes. First thing was to get the cleaners in. That’s Calvary! Second thing was to destroy the invader and his powerful hold. That’s Calvary too, and the resurrection. And the overcomer – that’s Jesus – is making all things new.

Along the way the earth’s inhabitants have come to know that God is a Father of grace and mercy. And that’s the best thing of all. “Wow Dad! Look at the whole world!”

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