“As it was in the beginning, so it is now, and so it will always be. World without end.”
(The Gloria, Common Book of Prayer)
So many things in the kingdom of God are seemingly backward. The last are first, the weak are made strong, and it is the meek, not the powerful, who will inherit the earth. God’s economy just works differently to ours.
Which is why it comes as no surprise to me that when we are to think about the transformation of society, and the ushering in of a new, heavenly kingdom in every corner of this world we call home, that we should, in fact, first go backwards and find out what is already there.
“The heavens are Yours, the earth also is Yours;
The world and all its fullness, You have founded them.”
– Psalm 89:11 (NKJV)
There is an original, God-given reality at the heart of everything. And it blows my mind. Every person and every place, every system and every sphere can trace its heritage back to “the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change” (James 1:17). That means there is a goodness to everything. A purpose to everything. An opportunity for redemption for everything.
One our great privileges as God’s representatives on this planet, his ambassadors, is to seek this reality out, to call it into being and then partner with heaven to see it materialise. We get a different perspective on a pile of old bones and call forth an army.
Which means that one of the most important questions that we can ask God, in any situation, is this:
“God, this person, this place, this sphere, what was your original intention when you designed it? What was on your heart? What does it look like in heaven? Help me to see your truth, and show me how I can be a part of its restoration.”
“God, what was your original intention when you designed this?”
I believe the the greatest journey we can ever go on as individuals is the pursuit of our true name. It’s a journey that starts with that universal declaration that we are God’s kids made uniquely in his image; beloved, chosen masterpieces with tailor-made kingdom assignments laid out in front of us (Eph 2:10). And it ends with a “well done”, and a “welcome home”, and a white stone that reveals how we have been known in heaven all along (Rev 2:17).
How incredible, then, that along the way we also get be part of that same process of divine uncovering for everything that our life touches?
Your friends have a name.
Your university has a name.
Your sphere of influence has a name.
It was written into the foundations of the earth.
Somewhere along the line those names got lost, and someone started telling a different story. But now is the time to call up the author, get out your pen, and start to re-write it. To call everything by its right name.
As it was in the beginning, so it is now, and so it will always be. World without end.
The featured image is of a painting by Tom Musgrove inspired by The Gloria. Check out his work, it’s great.