About two years ago I bought my first new car. Actually, to say it was a new car would be a bit misleading. It was three years old at the time and had 40,000 miles on it. Still, considering the fact that I had been driving hand-me down vehicles for many years prior to my purchase, the car was new to me, and I still enjoy driving it everywhere.
However, during spring evenings I find myself less enthusiastic about driving the car. This has nothing to do with my car, it is actually related to the physical environment here in central Florida. You see, every spring the love-bugs come out in force. I really do not have anything against insects in general but, pardon the pun, these creatures really bug me.
My journeys to and from worship and choir practice require me to drive across one of the many lakes in the Orlando area that attract large concentrations of these insects during the spring. They do not feel any particular need to get out of the way of my automobile and so I always arrive at home with a mess of splattered insects all over my windshield. This mess is not easily cleaned; it requires time, effort, and a special cleaner in order to be able to see through the glass again.
I tell this story merely to illustrate the many frustrations that the physical world offers us. But thankfully, it will not always be this way. The creation is presently suffering the ravages of sin, but one day all will be different. One day all will be good again. The physical order — the trees, the water, the hillsides, and yes, even the love-bugs will be set free from the cataclysmic effects of sin.
Salvation, as one of my seminary professors would say, is not simply about getting a sparkly soul and playing a harp in heaven as a disembodied spirit. It will encompass even the physical order. The physical bodies of those in Christ will be raised to enjoy a physical creation set free from death and decay.
When I clean my windshield, I testify in some small way to this coming reality when all will be clean again. When I pull weeds from my garden, I bear witness that things are not presently as they should be and will be transformed. When I help the church assist neighborhoods in need of education, renovation, and beautification I declare the biblical Gospel of salvation for the whole person.
When I keep the end of salvation — physical resurrection and glorification — in mind, I realize that I can do all things, even the cleaning of my car, to the glory of God. Excuse me, the love-bugs await.