Planting New Paradigms

By Deidra Riggs

March 2, 2019

He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”

Revelation 21:5


Plants being cultivated.My paternal grandfather was an agricultural extension agent in rural Virginia, long before I was born. In his role, my grandfather traveled around from farm to farm, teaching landowners in his African-American community to cultivate the soil in a manner that produced the greatest yield of crops. In other words, my grandfather helped farmers develop the best environment for their crops to flourish. I can’t think of a better word picture for who we are, as culture makers in the world.

Culture making is a sacred reflection of the God-in-us. Culture making is our response to God’s call to humanity to cultivate the world we’ve been given.

Our efforts in policy, technology, the arts, religion, medicine, and athletics are (theoretically) focused on creating an environment which facilitates the vibrant physical, intellectual, and spiritual growth of its inhabitants. Culture is the manifestation of these efforts. It is a compilation of our customs, arts, social institutions, and achievements.[i] Culture is what we are making, in our day-to-day interactions and through the work of our hands.

Our prayers.

Our conversations at the dinner table.

Our actions in the public square.

Our kneading of dough.

Our correspondence.

Our tending of the garden.

Our dance moves.

Our worship.

Our poetry.

Our brushstrokes on canvas.

Our architecture.

Our bedside watches through the night.

Our sermons.

Our music.

Our scientific studies.

Our measuring and cutting.

Our response to our enemies.

All of these and more, when surrendered to God the Creator, play a role in cultivating an environment in which oneness and unity can flourish.

God is making all things new, and he has invited us to be his hands and feet in the world.

God invites us to be Kingdom-Come people. On earth, as it is in heaven. Tilling the ground. Cultivating the places he leads us so that oneness and unity can thrive. Planting new paradigms, right in the middle of the way we’ve always done things.


Where are you serving as a culture maker? How does your work make manifest the Kingdom of God, on earth as it is in heaven?


LORD, thank you for the work of my hands. I commit my work to You, in this day and all the days to come. Let my work bring you glory, and let it cultivate an environment in which oneness and unity can flourish. Amen.


Explore more at the Theology of Work Project online Bible commentary: Babylon and the New Jerusalem: A Tale of Two Cities (Revelation 17-22).

Deidra Riggs

Writer & Author

Deidra Riggs is a national speaker, an editor, and the founder and host of Jumping Tandem: The Retreat, a bi-annual event for writers, authors, and entrepreneurs. She is a storyteller who creates safe space for navigating...

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