As a Christian, I believe that God's intention for humanity and creation is about reconciliation and restoration. The story of the Bible starts with a Creator God who, out of the overflow of His glory and perfection, desired to make all of creation, including people. Humanity and creation lived in fullness, perfection, and intimacy with God, as it was intended to be. That perfection was corrupted by humans who decided to do what was right in their own eyes, rather than what the Creator intended. From that point forward, brokenness entered the world and distorted the relationship between God and his people. Throughout all the generations moving forward, the brokenness of the world has been clearly evident. Families have been torn apart, the world crumbles, societies fail, and humans abuse their power both in relationships with others and with the creation.
Into the midst of that came Jesus. Our perfect representative before the Creator God. Jesus said throughout his ministry, "The Kingdom of Heaven is at hand." In His life, and through His victory over death, Jesus inaugurated the new kingdom, the beginning of the restoration that we all ache for whether we acknowledge it or not. As believers in Jesus, we are called to be representatives or ambassadors of Jesus. In order to do that well, we need to understand what the Kingdom of Heaven is about. In Jesus' life and teaching, we see him proclaiming healing for the sick, freedom for the captives, food for the hungry, and restored relationships with God. In the book of Revelation, we see a word picture of this kingdom in its finality. Heaven comes to earth. The earth does not burn away into dust while believers in Jesus float around in the sky playing harps. God dwells with His people. There are no more tears, no more hurting, no more death, and no more sin. People dwell upon the restored Earth in restored relationships with each other and with God. This is the Kingdom of Heaven that Jesus talked about.
The story of the Bible is about God restoring all things back to their intended design. Restoration means taking what no longer does what it's supposed to do or what is in bad condition and making it like new. God intends to restore our relationship with Him through the power of Jesus and the Holy Spirit. He also intends to restore creation to its original, intended glory.
As followers of Jesus, I believe that our responsibility is to tell people about the life they can find in Jesus. I believe it is essential for people to understand their value, and I believe that is only ever fully known when it is understood in connection with their creator. As people understand that they are made in the image of God, designed for beauty, life, and fullness, it also should begin to change the way they engage with others and with the world. As followers of Jesus, our other responsibility is to care for people and creation. We get to be agents of the restoration that Jesus will bring to completion, by caring for people and the world.
This is ultimately where my passion for minimal waste, environmental stewardship, and my love for people comes from. I believe that deep at the core of my identity as a human is a call to lovingly, purposefully, and responsibly honor the people and the creation in front of me. As I commit to intentionality in my relationships, in my consumption of goods and services, and in my care for the earth, I honor the God who made all those things, loves them more than I can, and desires to see them thriving in their intended design. So when I began to think about making some changes to my life, it all centered around what the Kingdom of God looks like. Pure and Simple is the consolidation of a lot of the practical side of this shift, but this blog section is intended to be the more ideological end. My deepest desire in all of this is to see people who begin to understand the heart and nature of Jesus more deeply, and in response to that, begin to make even small changes in their daily lives that reflect the reality of His goodness and His Kingdom at work.
I hope that Pure and Simple serves to encourage, inspire, and support you in whatever your walk of life. But ultimately, I hope that you come to know the deep, reckless love of God for you and that you begin to live into your identity as a beloved, image bearer of the creator God.