Paul paints a rather bleak picture of creation. It is not one of peace, harmony, and co-existence in joy (Romans 8:18-30). Paul points out that creation groans in labor pains as it awaits something better. We ourselves groan in labor pains for a better world because we know there is much that is wrong in the world. We have a great challenge before us to make the world a better place until that final transformation that comes from God. The hope of a better world challenges us to begin that work today.
Being part of Christ’s Church, we are part of something bigger than ourselves. The Holy Spirit affirms God’s presence with us as we await that final transformation. Until then, Paul challenges us to live up to our calling as Christians and this is more than about “me and Jesus.” This is about Jesus and us and the renewal of the world. We are among “those whom God first reaches in the unfolding of God’s plan!” (Karl Barth) (Romans 8:12-17). May the restoration of the world begin with us who follow Christ as we await its final manifestation.