December 22, 2012 by Jason Hood
“Heaven and earth shall flee away when he comes to reign.” So wrote the Xtina of Victorian Romantics, Christina Rossetti, in a poem that became the Christmas carol “In the Bleak Mid-Winter.”
But that’s not true, is it? Heaven and earth are in fact longing for him to come. When the gospel of God’s reign is announced in Isaiah and the Psalms, the whole world rejoices and its fabric trembles in anticipation of an liberation and an unsurpassed transformation. So heaven and earth aren’t fleeing his reign; only rebellious humans attempt to do so.
In fact the world is not just longing for him; it is longing for rebels who are being remade in the image of God, the image of his glorious Son. The world is groaning for the revelation not just of Messiah but of those who are also resurrected as he is, born-anew-sons-of-God by the Spirit like their elder brother Jesus (Rom 8:14-25).
This winter, this season when we celebrate Incarnation, we’re invited to remember also the resurrection and the reign, and to live patiently in hope, looking and longing with creation for this redemption (8:23-25).