Thought For Today: Romans 8:23
“We ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly while we wait for adoption, the redemption of our bodies.” Romans 8:23
As a self-confessed “Archers” addict (it was always part of family life as I grew up and I have followed it largely ever since) I am starting to get withdrawal symptoms. The episodes in the BBC bank ran out a couple of weeks ago, we are told, and there will be no more recordings made until the end of this month. And the re-broadcasting of various archive recordings is just not the same. Quel dommage, as they say across the Channel. This is not to mention the disruption to the domestic routine in the Ager household, where everything is constructed around sitting down to our evening meal at 7 so we can listen while we eat. But there’s nothing to be done about it; I’m just going to have to wait.
So all those story lines that were developing are now put on hold and it will be some time before I can find out how they move on. Not as bad, I suppose, as for someone who once told me how he was listening avidly to a radio drama on his car radio one day, and just as it was building up to its finale he entered Dartford Tunnel, lost reception and never did discover how it all ended (it was well before the days of iplayer, so no catch-up possible).
Paul, in his monumental letter to the early Christians in Rome, is building up to his own finale in setting out what God has done for us in Jesus. Pausing in his growing excitement at what it means to experience God’s Spirit actually living within us, he considers the contrast of life in the world – which was pretty tough for them, even as it is for us at present. Waiting around for God to complete the story is a real strain, he says.
God’s story, of course, is far greater, richer and more fulfilling than any we could devise or follow. The whole creation, says Paul, is waiting eagerly (“on tiptoe” I recall one songwriter putting it) to see God appear with his children in the full glory he has planned. At the same time, that whole creation which we know is in many ways in a sorry state, will be “set free from its bondage to decay”.
So I have some idea, unlike with “The Archers”, where the story is going to end. Having said that, I have no clue how long before we get there, nor how God, the Author of all, is going to write the future episodes to resolve it all. I’m just going to have to wait. But when it happens, I am sure the “everyday story of country folk” will pale into insignificance.