A month ago in Joplin, Missouri, it was a normal Saturday, except that seniors had just had their graduation commencement at high school. People were shopping or relaxing. Then the biggest tornado in over 50 years in the U.S. hit. Where there was once order, there was now chaos. 200 mph winds flattened houses, stores, school, and offices. Cars were whisked away. A tractor trailer was wrapped around a tree. 154 people died. Many more survived, but lost all their possessions. I'm sure there's a lot of people who said, if there is a God, why does he allow this to happen?
God is a god of order, not chaos. When he created the universe and our world, he moved things from chaos into order. IN the beginning the earth was without form and void. God separated the waters into earth and heavens. There was darkness, and God created light. Each of the six days God brought order, to the plants, to the birds and fish, to the kinds of animals on the land. God made people, and gave them authority over the animals.
When he was finished, he looked at everything, and it was very good. He made everything, but he ordered it as he wanted. There weren't any tornadoes, or hurricanes, earthquakes or devastation. We don't see Adam and Eve living in fear of being eaten by lions or dinosaurs. There's no death, no disease, suffering, or fear, for these are the things of chaos, not of order.
God created us to live in relationship with him. He made us able to have relationships with each other. He made us to rule over the animal world and use natural resources. All of this is order.
For over 2000 years we have accepted the idea that God is a God of Order. No one believed that the world was created broken and chaotic. But in the past 150 years a new idea of God has appeared. Instead of order, the theory of evolution preaches a God of chaos. Evolution is an idea. It says that mutations over millions of years explains the origin of all the complexity of life.
Have you ever experienced a mutation? I know some of you have. We usually call it cancer. When cells mutate, it is not a pleasant experience. It almost always causes suffering, disease, and death. Yet evolutionists say that given enough time, mutations are the reason for the order we see in the world around us.
Some people say that God used evolution to create the world we see over millions of years. Why then did God look at the world and say it is good, when for millions of years it has suffered disease and death? If God used evolution to create, then he is the author of death.
When something like the great tornado of Joplin happens, it shows us that the world is no longer the way God created it. Sin, disobedience to God's order, caused disorder in the created world. Chaos has broken through, and chaos brings suffering and death.
Perhaps you've experienced the effects of chaos in your life. Sin brings disorder between us and God, between us as individuals, and disorder into our personal lives. We grow angry, discontented, and selfish. We live in conflict with God, and with each other. We lose sight of God's order and settle for chaos.
God revealed himself in the Holy Trinity by acting to restore our lives and creation, so that once again they are very good. You can see the Holy Trinity working in the Creation account. "Let us make man in our image." The Spirit moving across the face of the waters. The Gospel of John says of Jesus that "All things were made through him."
The nature of the Holy Trinity was fully revealed when the Father sent the Son into the world to be conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary.
Jesus, through suffering and death, restored the image of God to us. By his resurrection he began the new creation where God's good order is restored and the chaos of sin is removed.
All of us are new creations. We have a new birth and renewal by baptism. "Make disciples of all nations, baptizing in name of Trinity, FS&HS.
There will continue to be chaos in the world. Storms, fires, and calamities. Wars and bloodshed. When the Jesus comes again, we will experience an ordered creation again when Christ raises us from death and restores creation.
I hope you can see that the Lord made the world a very good place. It was ordered according to God's will. The fall and sin brought chaos into our lives and all creation. But God acted in Jesus to restore order. When Jesus became one of us, he revealed the Holy Trinity—FSHS—when he saved us. Through that triune name and water God has made us his children right now in Baptism. We live in a world of disorder, but we look forward to the Last Day and to the resurrection, when we will live and serve him forever. Amen.
Dr. James F. Wright
Immanuel Lutheran Church
June 19, 2011
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