Louis Armstrong used to sing, “I see trees of green, red roses, too, I see them bloom, for me and you. And I think to myself – What a wonderful world.” Check out the old jazz-man singing his song on this video. I agree with Louis. This world is really a wonderful place – – and yet, this world is shattered.
The season of Lent brings with it a dawning awareness of one’s own desperate need for God. Last night brought to my attention once again, our world’s desperate need for God. At 8pm I was called by friend and informed that his father has cancer. My friend and I chatted for a half hour about life, the need to reconcile, and how facing his father’s mortality made him face his own mortality – especially after many co-workers have recently made comments about his greying head of hair. A half hour later we received news before it made the evening news. One of the men in my church was swarming in with his MERGE (formerly known as SWAT) team to hunt down a man who had just ambushed and murdered a San Jose Police officer. You can read the whole sad story in today’s San Jose Mercury News. Thankfully no one else was hurt last night, and the dear law enforcement officer from my church body made it home alive and safe.
Louis Armstrong is right, God has created a pretty awesome, wonderful world, but this world has been shattered by our sin. It now includes cancer, sickness, sickos, murderers and violence. We live in a time of human history when “The whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now. And not only this, but also we ourselves, having the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our body.” Romans 8:22-23 The fantastic news is that because of Jesus’ Resurrection we know we’re waiting for what God has assured, at a time much later in human history, when Jesus will stand up from His throne in heaven and declare “Behold I am making all things new! Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” I can sing with Louis Armstrong about this wonderful world, but I sing it with a groan, waiting for the day when everything will be made new.