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Groaning

. 2 min read
2015/05/24
Christ Church, Mountain Top, Pentecost
Call
to Worship, Psalm 104.24-35
Children,
Acts 2.1-21
Message,
Romans 8.19-28
Futility:
keeping the bears out of the dumpster, 5 Hour Energy
Futility:
“The creation was subjected to futility” (8.20)
      Not by its own choice
            Dinosaurs did not go extinct because
they sinned
      By the will of the one who subjected it in hope
            Hope of freedom from decay – the
laws of Thermodynamics
            Only an infusion of energy from
outside the system will save us
                  The return of Christ Jesus
      Injustice – business, someone makes a bad
decision, everyone else gets fired or loses their shirts; violent policemen,
creating problems for the majority of level-headed and compassionate officers,
the communities, and the individuals they hurt
      War and terror – ISIS, the Ukraine
Decay:
Cleaning out Jesse’s apartment
Decay:
“its bondage to decay” 8.21)
      Ecology – litter, smog, oil spills,
rainforest & desert
      Diseases – cancer, Parkinson’s, muscular dystrophy
Groaning
floorboards
Groaning:
“The whole creation has been groaning, and not only the creation, but we
ourselves” (8.22-23)
      Disasters – Nepal earthquake and its
aftershocks
      Disability – “Mommy, why did God make me
this way?”
      Broken relationships – sisters &
brothers, children & parents who refuse to talk to one another
Paul
has made the argument that we human creatures follow Christ out of futility and
into redemption, follow Christ out of decay and into glory, follow Christ out
of the groaning of bondage and into freedom. 
Now, he asserts that even the entire created order is part of God’s
salvation plan.  The creation groans, the
Spirit groans, the creature groans.

“Labor
pains”
(8.22) – not FUTILE
      The pain is temporary
      The labor is productive
      HOPE – The best is yet to come
“Adoption,
the redemption of our bodies” (8.23) – not DECAY
      The best is yet to come:
            “the glory of the children of God”
            “our adoption, the redemption of our
bodies”
“First-fruits
of the Spirit” (8.23) – not alone in our GROANING
      Groans with us! Prays with, for us! God
groans!
            Joins in our suffering
      The best is yet to come: “all things work
together for good”
      Some days: My goodness, I sure hope so.
      Other days: Living in that hope, in the
fullest sense
            “in hope we were saved” (8.24)
            “now hope that is seen is not hope”
(8.24)
            “we hope for what we do not see”
(8.25)
We
human creatures, along with all of creation, follow Christ out of futility and
into redemption, follow Christ out of decay and into glory, follow Christ out
of the groaning of bondage and into freedom.

Friends
in the Middle East – praying for taxi driver