ODJ: happy endings

August 3, 2015 

READ: Romans 8:18-25 

Against its will, all creation was subjected to God’s curse. But with eager hope, the creation looks forward to the day when it will join God’s children in glorious freedom from death and decay (vv.20-21).

In the 1880s Daeida Wilcox and her husband bought 160 acres of land with the aim of creating a town. But this wouldn’t be any old town. Daeida’s dream was that “Hollywood” would be nothing less than a Christian utopia—free of alcohol and guns, a place of peace.

Like all earthly utopias, the dream didn’t last long. When a filmmaker named D. W. Griffith made a film there in 1910, the seed for the biggest film production centre in history had been sown. Despite Daeida’s wishes, bars began opening, and the booming 1920s brought both success and excess to Hollywood.

Christian-utopia Hollywood is long gone, but that doesn’t stop modern Hollywood from presenting its own version of the utopian dream—the happy ending. Luke destroys the Death Star and saves the galaxy. Nemo is found! We all know that real life isn’t so neat, but we lap up the happy ending because it’s what each of us longs for—a world where pain is gone, relationships work, justice is realised and life is good.

As Daeida Wilcox found, a utopian society is hard to create. Sin, suffering and corruption interfere with every effort to establish it (Romans 8:20-23). But as modern Hollywood shows, that doesn’t stop our hunger for new creation. We wait for the world to be liberated from its decay and corruption (v.21), and one day it will be (vv.19,24-25). The fullness of the new creation will come at God’s command, but we are called to bring God’s new creational ways to the world today (2 Corinthians 5:17; Revelation 21:10).

Today, by the Spirit’s work, may we see more happy endings realised in the lives of those around us. We live new creational lives pointing to the fullness of new creation yet to come!

—Sheridan Voysey

365-day-plan: Luke 11:14-32

Read Matthew 6:10 and consider what Jesus was saying about God’s kingdom and new creational work being realised in our lives today. 
How do you see society longing for heaven? How will you participate in God’s new creational work today?