Restoring Eden

Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium

Joy. Wonder. Koinonea. Life.

I’ve been trying to come up with words to describe what people would feel if they spent a day in Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium. If you haven’t seen the film, it concerns a magical toy shop, where stuffed animals can give you a hug, paper airplanes can fly for hours, and around every corner is something new to suprise and delight.

But as with any story, something goes wrong. The store’s 243 year old owner, Mr. Magorium, dies. And with him the soul of the shop seems to die too. All the color and joy and magic fades away. Finally, the store’s new owner discovers that she, through faith, can restore the shop, and it becomes all that it was before.

I couldn’t help thinking of Eden. Unbroken joy. Endless wonder. Perfect koinonea (fellowship). Eternal life. Absolutely perfect, and absolutely good, created by a God who walked and talked with the people inhabiting it.

But something went wrong. The people rebelled against their God, and they died— physically and spiritually. And with them Eden died too. Joy, wonder, koinonea, life— now we have only the barest glimmers, here and there, of what we once had to the full.

Like a man born blind can’t even conceive of what he is missing when he can’t see a Spring day in a park, we can’t even conceive of what we’re missing from Eden. We hardly have categories to imagine what a world that is nothing but joy and wonder and koinonea and life is really like.

But that’s precisely the kind of world we were created for, and that’s the kind of world our souls still long for. We long for Eden to be restored.

Ah, that’s what we can look forward to in heaven, I can hear people say. And in a sense, they’re absolutely right: heaven will be all that Eden ever was, and more.

But I think there’s another sense of restoring Eden that we often don’t think about: the here and now. The Kingdom of God is both a future hope but also a present reality. Jesus said that he came to “to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” (Luke 4:18-19) That was His mission, to restore joy & wonder & koinonea & life, through His life, His death, His resurrection.

That is our mission too. We are His followers, His servants, His friends, His children, His ambassadors, and we are given the mission of extending His Kingdom here and now. We are to proclaim life in Christ, we are to love and give and heal and comfort, we are to live in joy & wonder & koinonea & life ourselves, and to draw others into God’s glorious life and Kingdom.

That is who we are and that is what we were created for. To restore Eden.

Let that thought guide your thoughts and your life today.

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