The Earth Is Not A Cold Dead Place

These are my (slightly spruced up) notes from a short talk I was asked to do at the Banbridge Academy a few weeks ago.
I have been asked to share something… Something that I think is central to Christianity and why we love God… In 10 minutes.
The brilliant thing is there is no shortage of things to talk about!
But… I want to start with a band I like called Explosions in the Sky
They’re an instrumental outfit but they have an album that is called The Earth is Not a Cold Dead Place.
                  
I love this album name because it declares something that, I think, is at the heart of what Christianity is about!
But before we get there, I think we need to appreciate how the opposite of what this title declares is so often true for how we experience the world.
The Earth is a Cold Dead Place – or at least we could be forgiven for thinking that it is. 
Turn on the news, or read it online, and it wouldn’t take much to draw the conclusion that world isn’t in great shape.
The countless ways people mistreat one another.
The reality that this world is rather dangerous and is sure to remind us of the fact.
Even think about your life and no doubt it has been hard and difficult.
Violence. Pain. Death. Loss. Is it always going to be this way?
Now, I’m so sorry for being morbid, especially on a very lovely day!
BUT I think it’s important to see this, to understand it because…
At the heart of Christianity is the inverse claim The Earth is Not a Cold Dead Place,
The way things were,
The way things are,
Is not the way the world is always going to be!
God has done something new, something that promises hope and new life – the Resurrection of Jesus.
The Gospel according to John in so many ways parallels the creation account in Genesis 1.
Genesis 1:1 -> John 1
The 7 days of creation –> John’s 7 signs of the old, cold, dead way being turned around.
  • Jesus turns water into wine. (John 2)
  • Jesus heals a boy. (John 4)
  • Jesus heals a man at a pool. (John 5)
  • Jesus feeds 5000. (John 6)
  • Jesus walks on water. (John 6)
  • Jesus heals a man born blind. (John 9)
  • Jesus raises Lazarus from the dead. (John 11)
After all of these Jesus is crucified.
There all sin, pain, death, violence, loss – everything that makes the world a cold dead place – is piled on him…
But… 3 days later… Resurrection!
When does this happen?
Well John tells us
“Early on the first day of the new week…” John 20:1
Resurrection signifies the first day of the new week, the eighth day.
It is when the old creation, best described as a cold dead place, is overturned by new creation. Through resurrection Jesus’ arrives with new hope, new life, new possibilities, declaring The Earth Is Not A Cold Dead Place!
Here is the announcement that things cannot, and will never, stay cold and dead because Jesus is the indication that God is going to renew…
All those who trust and follow Jesus
“Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive.” 1 Corinthians 15:20-22
All creation
“The creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed. For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God.” Romans 8:19-21
 This is the heart of Christianity. This is why we love God.
The Earth Is Not, and can never again be, A Cold Dead Place.
“These [John’s gospel] were written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.” John 20:31
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