This reflection from Bishop Graham Tomlin is shared from our current daily Advent email series. We were so encouraged by it that we wanted to share it with all of our readers. We’re sorry if you’ve read it before, but you never know, you might notice something new the second time of reading...
‘We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption to sonship, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved.’ (Romans 8:22–24)
When you are acutely aware of the suffering of the world, it is easy to lose heart at the magnitude of the world’s problems. How do you keep going?
In Romans chapter 8, Paul masterfully recasts everything. Seen with the eyes of faith, the sufferings of a broken world are like the labour pains of a woman – pain that is acute and distressing, yet has something wonderful at its conclusion. The signs of light we occasionally see, the acts of goodness, the small successes, are not the brief flickering of a candle, but the first glimmers of the dawn of a new day. They are the fruits of the Spirit who is bringing the whole world to its fulfilment in the new creation.
At its heart, the Christian faith is a declaration of hope that we can expect ultimate victory – despite losses we may experience along the way. A victory that doesn’t depend on our efforts and skill, but on the sure promise of the God who raised Jesus from the dead.
Graham Tomlin, Bishop of Kensington
Father, we thank and praise you for the promise of hope that we celebrate at Christmas. Please help us to be people who notice the small glimmers of light in the world and remind us to pray for your redeeming kingdom to come here on earth.
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