“For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the children of God; for the creation was subjected to futility, not of its own will but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to decay and will obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. We know that the whole creation has been groaning in labor pains until now; and not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly while we wait for adoption, the redemption of our bodies. For in hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what is seen? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience” (Romans 8:19-25).
This is a passage of great power and promise. Paul is writing from Jerusalem, rather late in his ministry, to a group of believers in Rome—a group he didn’t establish, and a city to which he has not yet carried his message. His intention is to travel to Rome and enlist the support of Christians there as he continues his missionary work in Spain. He uses the letter to set forth his own understanding of the message of Jesus Christ.
This extraordinary passage emphasizes the universal and spiritual importance of the work to which we are called once we have allowed Jesus’ teachings to awaken us to the creative Christ energy within us. All of creation, he writes, is waiting for us to recognize and undertake the work of transforming the creation into a higher, freer, more glorious expression of divine Light and Love. And, as he emphasizes often in his writings, we must undertake the work in faith—not waiting for ‘proof’ that the kingdom is possible. “Hope that is seen is not hope.” We must claim our Christ identity and express it through every choice, confident the new consciousness that is the kingdom will be expressing as a result.