by Rev. LJ Jaworski, Pastor of Mission for Third Church, Richmond, Virginia
In my work as a mission pastor, I have the privilege of hearing stories of the transformation that happens as God makes all things new around the world.
Recently, a missionary serving in Central Asia shared the story of a young Muslim man with whom he’d shared the Gospel on several occasions. No matter how often they met or how passionate the missionary’s appeal, the young man remained unmoved by the Good News of Jesus.
Several months later, the missionary was shocked to learn he’d become a Christian. The young man’s countenance and attitude had completely changed. He was filled with joy and overflowing with the love of God. What a transformation!
The young man became an evangelist in his community, telling everyone he met about the goodness of God through Jesus Christ. Despite opposition, danger, persecution and even eventual martyrdom, his exuberance to share the Gospel—and the witness of his own transformed life—made a lasting impact.
This young man’s story reminds me that through Christ, broken things are made whole. When God’s Kingdom comes in all its fullness, “People and things, animals and atoms, get properly fixed and fit together” (Colossians 1:20 MSG). Jesus’ sacrifice redeems every effect of the fall, healing every form of brokenness as we are reconciled to God. And this reconciliation is not just between humans and God. All of creation—people, animals, plants, earth, sky, sea—will one day be restored to shalom, brought back together in God’s perfect intention for the world.
As we await the future reality of creation fully restored, we’re invited to join Jesus’ reconciling work here and now. We witness transformation from brokenness to wholeness, from apathy to joy. Where have you seen the Gospel bring new life? How do you need God to restore your hope for people and places still waiting to experience His grace?
Read more from our Advent devotional series.