My wife thinks I have a fatal fascination for rubbish. I think it may have come to her attention when in New York. I was transfixed by these bin wagons that came along the street and extended their long cantilever arms (over the tops of parked cars – but my imagination may have added that ‘fact’) to grab these industrial size bins, empty them, and clunk them back onto the
I’m the one at home who fishes the cardboard box out of the bin, pulls out the plastic, unfolds the sides and flattens it, then puts it into the recycling sack.
We live in Lancashire, but our rubbish is collected by Blackpool, though just down the road Wyre do the dirty. This causes problems for users of church, because they might be recycling according to the Wyre rules, which are not the same as Blackpool. It’s a murky business.
We are not sure if putting things in the right bins guarantees they will have a future life. It is into the realms of mystery beyond the bin wagon, but we live in hope. There is a distinct possibility that something you have thrown out has now returned into your household redeemed.
God is a recycler. Jesus was sent to make it possible to re-fit every human being with a built-in recycling/regenerating programme. We call him the Holy Spirit and the process we label redemption. God’s stated plan is to extend this process to the whole of creation, so the kingdom of God fills the whole of the re-processed planet. Heaven on Earth. Bishop Tom Wright argues that interpretation very persuasively.
Interesting what God labels rubbish. It is never a human being, but anything that takes away our humanity. He doesn’t seem to follow any earthly recycling bye-laws, just the heavenly ones. He even restores what the voracious locusts have eaten.
Be continuously recycled (transformed) in this way, says Paul!