From the beginning, we were always supposed to be about cultivating and guarding the world. After our failure in the Garden to guard the world as we should, we can add healing the world to the list. The world is broken, and we can’t cultivate and protect it if we don’t heal it too. That applies to our own hearts as surely as it applies to the rest of the world.
Of course we’re inadequate to the task — we were never meant to do any of it except hand in hand with God — but it is our job nonetheless. Into our weakness, Jesus came to do for us what we could not do for ourselves:
“The Spirit of the LORD is upon Me, Because He has anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed; to proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD.” (Luke 4:18-19)
We are invited — commanded — to follow His example.
“Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father. And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask anything in My name, I will do it.” (John 14:12-14, emphasis added)
How can we possibly live up to that?
“But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” (Acts 1:8)
At Pentecost, the Spirit came upon the Church in power, and from that day to this we are called to attend to the words of Jesus, to practice the ways of Jesus, and to do the works of Jesus in the world. We are united with Him in baptism and partake of Him at His Table, and we are the Body of Christ in the world, because we are what we eat.
We are citizens of a capital city which is presently in heaven, but will one day come to earth. That new city will be the center of the whole world, and the center of the new city is the Lamb, who is its Temple.
“There shall be no night there: they need no lamp or light of the sun, for the Lord God gives them light.” (Revelation 22:5)
That future light shines down the corridors of history, and if we have eyes to see, it illuminates our present world well enough:
“If we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.” (1 John 1:7)
May we live in the power of the Spirit that Christ has given to us.