Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Creation's Groaning // in Sailor Dress

Heeey y'all! I hope you had an amazing Resurrection Day this week! Church was amazing as always, although it was slightly adventurous since the power was out through the whole service! Which meant no lights or running water in the bathrooms. ;) Yay for generators and electrician pastors, though, so we could use the piano! 
The next bit of Romans we covered was chapter 8:19-22: "For the creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed. For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God. We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time."

I don't know about you, but this was usually the part of this chapter where my eyes glazed over and mind wandered because I really did not have a clue what it was talking about. My pastor explained it with incredible understanding and passion that I came away not ever ever wanting to move out of the country where I can witness this incredible phenomenon on a daily basis. There is no way I'll be able to accurately translate this into a few paragraphs for y'all, but I'll hit on some of the high points and y'all email me (freshmodesty@gmail.com) if you'd like a link to the mp3 of the sermon!


This section of Romans 8:18-30 is here to keep us from giving up when we suffer. Last sermon notes we looked at our reckoning in regards to suffering and today is Creations groaning. There are 4 more points to encourage us to keep going and not to quit that we'll cover in future summaries.

1. The Fall of Original Creation in the Fall of Man: Genesis 3:17-19
When Adam fell into sin, his sin affected all of God's physical creation, not just humans. Earth became part of man's fall and likewise suffers. ("Creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice...") It sounds kinda funny, I know, but bear with me. Because of this curse of the ground, the human race will now have sorrows even in their gathering of their sustenance. Thorns and thistles will now come from the ground. "In the sweat of they face" there will be anguish and frustration in the work we have. When Adam sinned, God declared, "Cursed is the ground for your sake; In toil you shall eat of it...". Toil means suffering. To the woman He said, "....Your desire shall be for your husband, And he shall rule over you." Desire means tension. There will be tension in your relationship.

So many of marriage's problems are over provision and making ends meet, but this passage of Romans says, "The creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God." WOW. I'm not married yet, but it is my hope that when I have a husband and we do have fights, we will be able to realize how we are under the curse. Money is tight because of OUR sin and we will always in this life be struggling with the thorns and thistles and gathering food in the sweat of our faces. What an incredible thing that the One who can reverse the curse already has on Calvary. How humbling, how real.

2. The Reconstitution of the Earthly Creation after Noah's Day
Man and earth underwent a constitutional change. By sending the Flood, the Lord desired to show us our corruption and self-deception. The entire earth was affected with man in this incredible show of God's power and both man and beast were nearly wiped out (Genesis 7:21). God made his rainbow covenant with man and all the animals with him. The animals changed and were given to man for food and man's life was shortened (Genesis 9). The curse totally still applies and indeed, more than ever Creation is struggling under it. Think about it long enough, or try to go weed your garden, and this feels very, very grim. I see Creation's frustration every day when I go for a walk-- thorns wrapped around flowering plants, tree limbs fallen, mushrooms growing everywhere as if to say, "This thing is dead, but we want life!" and so through the decay pops a fungi. This frustration seems more evident in the autumn, or in the heat of summer when the weeds are 6' tall. In my own life there are also certainly sufferings that I wish just were not there. But Romans is telling us to be excited in our toils and trials. This is so great-- check out this next point:

3. All Creation Expectedly Awaits a Glorious Revealing
Ahh it's going to be hard to summarize this but here goes-- Creation follows along with man's fall, and also in his redemption. There is a sense that the land itself goes through sanctification as believers are faithfully living out the covenant life. Of course, land doesn't have a soul as men do, but land can be worked and refined. There is so much I could elaborate on that point, but I won't today. Creation also awaits its glorification which will come when believers are one day glorified and resurrected.


In verse 19, what is Creation waiting for? Creation is waiting for the revealing of the sons of God. The Lord develops this idea of "eager expectation" all throughout His Word and I for one am blessed by the joy that brings. The passage almost gives Creation feelings- it is longing for the lid to be pulled back, for the sons of God to be revealed-- that is, who is and who is not in the Book of Life. Why is Creation longing for that (vs 20-21)? Because it's own position will be reversed at that time.

M'kay, I know this is getting long, but we're almost to the incredibly awesome part. We've gotta have all this understanding though. :P There's a real emphasis in verse 20 that Creation is subject to futility not willingly. It is in bondage to corruption. So, there are some common denominators we share with Creation. Read Eccl. 3:19-20. In these verses, it's made clear that we are all corrupted. We're common things. Read Isaiah 40:6-7. We all know that one by heart. Why does the grass wither and the flower fade? Because of man. This is where we come into the picture. Read Psalm 107:33-34.  A fruitful land into barrenness for the wickedness of those who dwell in it.

Here's the kicker-- Creation continues to be frustrated, but freedom WILL COME. Romans 8:22, "We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth" There is a liberation that is coming and Creation can't wait! We have hope and expectations just like those of a mother in labor. When we experience suffering, remember that it will be worth it. Everyone goes through suffering. The word used in Romans is "Havel" that is, frustration, labor, reaching-for-the-bubble-and-it-bursts, futility. Nothing is getting to do what it was created to do, and that's frustrating, isn't it? I definitely have felt this way as I haven't been well for quite some time. I think, "This is such a waste of time! I'm supposed to be doing something." The Creation "feels" this way, too. And if Creation can eagerly await the revealing of the sons of God, so can we.

Never give up. We can look at the world with hope, even when we are emotionally and physically spent. After hearing this sermon, when I am frustrated and exhausted with whatever, I look outside at the Creation and realize, I'm not alone in my struggles, in my longing for this curse to end. I can press on, because it is. Because Christ has already conquered death AND is living and reigning over this earth. Woohoo! 

The more we get into Romans, the more I realize how little I really know of the Bible. There are so many layers and sometimes I feel like with these sermon summaries I just hint at something that has a whole theology behind it, but I don't understand it enough to flesh it out. I just know that I am blessed by the general idea of it, like "theology of the land" or "revealing of the sons of God", and want to share that encouragement. 

// outfit details //
Dress: eShakti
Hat: ThredUP
Shoes: Ann Taylor: ThredUP
Pearl set: Gift
Gotta love outfits that don't cost you a dime. :) 


It is finally far enough into spring for me to feel comfortable wearing lots of white. LOVE this sailor dress from eShakti. I got it when they were having their "refer a friend, get credit" deal last year and have been waiting to wear it since then. Because the skirt is so full, heels made it look short (now I know to order a little longer- you can do that with eShakti!), so I opted for my new favorite shoes-- emerald green bow flats from Ann Taylor. Navy and green wasn't a combo I had ever considered, but I didn't have any other nice flats and I ended up really loving the look. You may also notice I tilted my hat- because of my face shape and the "cupcake" dress, this was the best way to wear it. :)


How was your Resurrection Sunday? How have you read these verses in Romans? What was your sermon about? Y'all have a great day!


30 comments :

  1. Olivia! This dress is just darling! You look so amazing in hats....I can't do hats, they just don't fit me! Thank you for sharing this wonderful sermon as well! I always enjoy reading your posts! =D

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  2. Super adorable outfit, Olivia!
    That navy blue looks great with your coloring!
    Should I come into a small fortune in the near future, it would most certainly be spent on a few eShakti dresses! That company is awesome! I always add an inch to my height when I order, that way it's plenty long!
    Keep up the good work!
    Natasha
    A modest fashion blog:
    Www.natashaatkerson.blogspot.com

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  3. Our resurrection day was great! Topped off with the news of another pregnant friend at church!!!
    I hope your busy days have subsided.

    Moriah

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  4. Wonderful sermon summary, Olivia! Thanks so much! And the dress is soooo cute! ;-) And looks like it's super fun to wear. :-)

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  5. Oh. my. goodness. This ensemble is ab.so.lute.ly BEAUTIFUL, especially the dress, and the hat, and the shoes, oh never mind it's just all gorgeous! My family had an awesome Easter Sunday with early Church in the morning and a trip a bit further up north to visit with extended family, which was endless fun and awesomely relaxing. :) Now it's back to the grit and grind with schoolwork and chores, but I'm still oh-so-happy. :)

    Man, I just cannot get over that dress. It's seriously my favorite type of dress all-around, the style, the color, the length... ACK.

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  6. Cute hat and cute shoes!!

    Abigail of happysnappingphotography.wordpress.com

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  7. I forgot to ask this Olivia-- how do you get things free on thread up? I mean, how do you earn the store credit?

    -Abigail of happysnappingphotography.wordpress.com

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  8. Hi! Olivia! I love your outfit! Easter was great. We went to church then we had some friends over for lunch. Our sermon was on Jesus Matters. I'm hoping to do a post on my blog soon about it if you would like some more detail :-).
    Hope you are having a great week!

    ~Lauren
    lntbutterflykisses.blogspot.com

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  9. Totally jealous of that dress Olivia! Can I wear it when I come to TN next month? :D

    Iris♥
    Feminine Modesty

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  10. I was curious if you don't think it is right to call Resurrection Sunday Easter??? Since it has pagan roots???

    Gracie Lacy

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    1. (Olivia, hope you don't mind me chiming in!)
      The idea that the name "Easter" has pagan roots is extremely debatable, though I know that rumor has spread rapidly over the years. :-) However, when you do historical research on the issue, you'll find that early Christians - many of whom were Jewish - celebrated the Lord's Resurrection at the same time as Passover and called it, "Pascha." This was later mistranslated as "Easter." Actually, the first 15 bishops of Rome were of Jewish descent and issued a letter to all Christians each year to let them know when the Passover/Pascha/Easter should be celebrated for that specific year (since it was calculated by the lunar calendar). It was only with the anti-Jewish Emperor Constantine that Pascha/Easter came to be seen as a separate holiday, distinct from its very meaningful Jewish roots; he issued a prohibition at the Council of Nicea forbidding the celebration of Passover & Pascha/Easter together.
      All this to say, forbidding the use of "Easter" as a term to designate the day our Lord resurrected seems a well-intentioned misinterpretation of history. :-) For more info, you might want to check out "Christ in the Passover" by Ceil & Moshe Rosen (Jews for Jesus).
      In Him,
      Alicia

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    2. Thanks Alicia!
      GL

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  11. adorable dress and needed words...so true. thanks for sharing.

    xo
    purposelyathome.blogspot.com

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  12. Thank you Olivia for sharing with us. Such good reminders. Jesus has conquered death and reigns.....now and forever. Wow! I appreciate the time you take to write these sermons out, I always look forward to reading them! Love your outfit, BTW! =D

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  13. Oh, I forgot....on eShakti, do you order dresses your exact measurements or a size bigger? Thank you!

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  14. Love the dress!! Also, I wanted to tell you that I am doing a Roman's study, so I know I am going to be checking out your sermon notes!!! Thanks for sharing!

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  15. Beautiful! I love how your hat goes with the dress!

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  16. such a cute outfit, Olivia. That dress is darling!!!

    I was wondering if you could tell me your top five favorite books? I am looking for new material to read and would love suggestions. :)

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    1. Becca, I'm not as good as Olivia, but may I give you some of my favorite titles?

      1) Alone yet not Alone(Tracy Leininger)
      2) Stepping Heavenward(Elizabeth Prentiss)
      3) Treasures of the Snow(Patricia St. John)
      4) Elsie Dinsmore series(Martha Finley)
      5) Any books by my favorite publisher, http://lamplighter.net/c/

      Your outfit was so cute Olivia!

      Alaythia

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    2. You're so beautiful Olivia, both inside and out!!!!

      Oh yes!!!! Maybe you could do a blog post on your favorite books????
      Savannah Faith

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    3. I just posted about my top reads for this year so far; you can check them out here if you like: http://jessicalg97.blogspot.com.au/2014/04/top-five-picks.html#comment-form
      :D

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    4. Becca, here are some books that would be well worth the read!

      Grace Abounding by John Bunyan
      Equipped to Love by Norm Wakefield
      Kept for the Master's Use by Frances Ridley Havergal
      It's (Not That) Complicated by Anna Sofia and Elizabeth Botkin
      Paula the Waldensian by Eva Lecomte

      If you're an avid reader, you may have read one or more of these already. But those are just my favorites.

      A book that I'm reading through right now is called "Spiritual Depression" by D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones. Though the title may sound dismal, it is actually a wonderfully encouraging read. It focuses on the causes and cures of depression in a Christian (which is a contradiction of terms, actually, since a Christian should be full of joy). You may be interested in reading that as well!


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  17. I love Eshakti! I only have one dress from them so far though. But I really love a lot of their dresses.
    Rachel

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  18. These are such a thought-provoking notes! Thinking of the freedom that will come even to creation itself is simply amazing. Thanks for sharing!

    And I love your outfit - so beautiful!

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  19. I just love your dress! Our Easter church service was really wonderful too!

    -Hannah

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  20. That is a really awesome passage, and your pastor's sermon was so interesting to read!
    What a cute dress! :D

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  21. I love that dress

    Resurrection Sunday is always known as Easter Day here in the UK and I went to a very moving Church Service.

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Fresh Modesty is fashion blog which encourages girls to "Dress outside your box, but inside His Book!" I allow anonymous comments so those without accounts can comment, but I would really appreciate it if you would identify yourself by some form of a name. :) Thank you for taking the time to comment!