Monday, April 16, 2012

Looking Forward to April 22, 2012 -- 3rd of Easter, Earth Day Worship

This week we mark Earth Day in our worship and reflection.

The Scripture Readings this week are:
  • Genesis 2:4-10, 15-22
  • Psalm 104:24-35 (VU p.827 Part Two)
  • Revelation 22:1-5, 17

The Sermon title is Tending the Garden

Early Thoughts: Scripture begins and ends in a garden. In between is a bunch of stuff about how we are to behave in the garden.

In the first story of creation (we are reading from the second story this week) the newly created humans are told to "be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the air and over every living thing that moves upon the earth" (Genesis 1:28).  It appears we may have taken that verse a little too literally.  Particularly those things like "fill" and "subdue" and "have dominion".

And I think that is because we, especially those of us in the "modern" West, have interpreted that verse to mean that we own the Earth and can do with it what we wish.  But over and over again the Scriptures remind us that the Earth is NOT ours.  The Earth belongs solely to God.  And we are tenant farmers at best.  So how are we doing at caring for the garden?

Well?  Honestly.  How are we doing?  If the performance review was tomorrow how would we fare?

I am suspicious it would not be a passing grade.  I suspect it would be one of those meetings that end with "you have [fill in a time span] to improve or...".  Currently, on an annual basis the global population is using 140% of what the planet can provide in a year.   It is pretty basic math to show that this is not exactly a sustainable plan.  Some would say that our addiction to our current lifestyle (and our selling/propagating that addiction all around the globe) has the highway of progress heading into a cul-de-sac.  Some would say it is heading straight into a brick wall.  Either way it is a dead end, the difference being that at least a cul-de-sac is built to facilitate turning around.

If we are gardeners or, to use a more familiarly theological word, stewards [and on Sunday I'll let you know how that relates to the pig sty] then we are here not simply to use/abuse.  We are here to care for and tend.  On Earth Day at least maybe we can pause to think about how we do that.  Yes we celebrate the gifts around us.  Yes Earth Day is a time to give thanks for the world around us.  But as people of faith, even just as parents and grandparents wanting to leave SOMETHING for our heirs, we have a duty to do more than give thanks.  We have a duty, a response-ability to look at where we are hading and figure out a way to change the endpoint.

This Sunday come with your ideas about how we might do that.

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