Life Breaks Loose* ~ BitterSweetLife

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Life Breaks Loose*

In the book of Isaiah (chapter 35), one of God’s “prophets” describes a picture unlike anything known to modern science. Isaiah writes about a series of events that will shake the second law of thermodynamics to its core.

His prophecy depicts rampant creative energy, vitality careening out of control, God’s irresistible power transforming everything it touches. We witness an inexplicable “re-creation.”

A wild spring blasts free from sand, geyser-ing up from an underground cavern to flood a wasteland. Green plants crack the joints of a blazing desert. A killing wilderness explodes into lush farmland. Death valley becomes an oasis. Life breaks loose.

But these (un)natural phenomena are only a frame for the truly shocking regenerative power at work. Because in the picture, Christ, an invincible catalyst, forces bodies and minds back into perfect wholeness as well:

Blind eyes revert to 20/20 vision, forget the contacts. The deaf regain a full spectrum of sound, not just improved hearing aids. Lame people are jumping, flexing their muscles, not gingerly hobbling around. Mute tongues start shouting in celebration—not tentatively testing their vocal range, but belting out gratitude. “Sorrow and sighing,” wrote Isaiah, “will flee away”—not temporarily forgotten, like the cubicle over a long weekend, but permanently gone.

All because Someone has arrived. These are the type of things that happen when Christ enters this world. It's the same transformative picture Jesus described when he said, “I come that they may have life, and have it abundantly” (John 10:10). A shocking departure from death and pain. A massive reversal of disintegration in both cells and souls.

Joseph and Mary were the first to embrace the divinity rising in their home, but in the end, Peter, James, John, all Christ’s friends, Israel, the Roman Empire, the entire eastern world, the earth…all felt the repercussions of a rampaging, indomitable life. And Jesus will return.

In the meantime, the same life-force is loose in his kingdom today. The spirit of Jesus lives in the hearts of his people, supplying a transformative power to be relied upon. “Counter-intuitive,” we might call it, because this vitality doesn’t fade with age, doesn’t die when it brushes death. Instead, spiritual deadness is obliterated by all-consuming life, like water erupting up from sand, swallowing the arid heat. Isaiah’s desert-garden images describe our souls.

The results in lives may be quiet and hidden or they may be spectacular. But the advancing power is relentless.

Christ looms near. Rioting life bears down hard.

In the sky, the sun burns less efficiently, its energy fading by miniscule degrees—inexorably colder. “Time,” as we call it, is winding down. But somewhere nearby, a foot is at the door. Christ’s spirit, living in hearts, tenses himself to rejoin his author. Someone is coming. The spirit moves expectantly, preparing us for that moment…the moment when the coming one will arrive. And as the spirit works life in us, he warns us,

The regenerative power of Christ,
Like ocean waves,
Like lightning,
Like inevitable spring green,
May be described metaphorically
But is not symbolic.

So beware. Life is on the loose.

* Inspired by a sermon with the same title, 12.12.2004 - John Vanderhorst.

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daydreamer said...

This was very interesting for me to read, as usual. I like it though, I especially like the ending sentence. Very inspiring.

ninjanun said...

I eagerly await the day when Jesus proclaims (in my completely restored hearing) "Behold, I make all things new!"

Nan said...

What can I say? I am deeply touched. Your words flow like comforting balm.

Paula said...

Powerful, intense writing. Vivid images. Truly a joy to read.


Culture. Photos. Life's nagging questions. - BitterSweetLife