Fr David's Sermon
11th February 2007
Managing the recycling bins has become one of the daily chores of modern life. It can be confusing working out what goes in which bin and which has to go out when. Itís made all the more confusing by the fact that every local authority does things differently as you discover when you go away on holiday. Get it wrong and you have to make an extra trip to the tip as I discovered after Christmas.
Itís all connected with the need to care for the environment and to do something about global warming. We are all invited to think about our energy use and our global footprint, car engine emissions, air miles &c. Even the Church has joined in with congregations being encouraged to explore ways of being green.
This is something of a new emphasis. The Western Church has tended to have a low view of creation as essentially fallen and in need of the redemption offered through the death of Jesus Christ. Although good stewardship is encouraged in the scriptures, all too often the world has been seen as something to be exploited and used for our own ends. Now this tendency is being corrected
After 2000 years the Church has come up with a feast to celebrate practically everything, patron saints for most aspects of life, feasts celebrating key points in the Christmas story. Despite this there has never been a feast celebrating God the creator. However the compilers of our new calendar have given this Second Sunday Before Lent a particular focus on creation. It is not quite a feast but we are encouraged to celebrate Godís work in Creation nonetheless.
You can see it in the collect Ė ĎAlmighty God, you have created the heavens and the earth and made us in your own image.í You can see it in the choice of readings. We have the Genesis account of the creation of human beings. We have Psalm 65, a beautiful harvest hymn praising Godís work in creation, crowning the year with goodness. In Revelation St. John recounts his vision of the worship of heaven when the created order praises God, who created all things and by whose will all things exist and were created. In the Gospel we share the disciples amazement at Jesusí apparent authority over the winds and the waves in the miracle of the stilling of the storm.
Creation is set before us, to contemplate and to rejoice in. Here are four things for us to think about.
Four biblical passages and four thoughts about creation; today may not be a feast but it is a day for celebrating Godís wonderful work in creation and our part in it, for repenting of our failure to be good stewards of the earth and for resolving by Godís grace to change to safeguard creation for future generations.
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