I was working
on this sermon this week and reading the Psalm, David says the God
has made us just a little lower than God and that we are crowned
with glory and honor. I asked Byrl, “If you were the king
of creation what you would do. Being the lover of music that he
is, he went right into song, singing a verse from Jeremiah was a
Bullfrog and it goes like this. “And if I were the king of
the world , I tell you what I would do. I’d throw away the
cars and the bars in the world and I’d make sweet love to
That is not
quite what I was looking for.
Today we are talking about being good stewards of God’s Creation.
You can see behind me that we have the entire COB vision statement.
WHY DO YOU
THINK WE SHOULD TAKE CARE OF THE ENVIRONMENT
28 God blessed them, and God said to them, "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." 29 God said, "See,
I have given you every plant yielding seed that is upon the face
of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit; you shall
have them for food. 30 And to every beast of the earth, and to every
bird of the air, and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything
that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for
food." And it was so. 31 God saw everything that he had made,
and indeed, it was very good. And there was evening and there was
morning, the sixth day.
IS OUR CALLING FROM GOD
God calls us – it is our vocation in life – It is God’s
desire for us to take care of the good he creates.
We need to live off of creation. We need it to sustain life while
preserving at the same time. Yes, we shall live off of it. We’d
better take care of it or our children and their children will not
have the goodness that we enjoy.
IT IS A LOT OF WORK -- ILLUSTRATION: BOY TAKING OVER THE FARM
man telling a story talks about his dad. He says, “More years
ago than I care to remember, my dad worked most of one morning tilling
the ground for the garden he planted every year. After working the
soil, he would spend a few days planting seed. Then there was the
setting up row markers, stringing lines for the peas and other tasks
that took many days.
I was quite
young as I watched him year by year and there was always that look
of satisfaction when dad would have the whole garden laid out, seed
planted and everything was ready for the season of growth. He would
wipe his brow and lean on the top of his shovel and look out over
his work for the longest time. As I think back, it was a kind of,
"And he looked over all he had made and it was good."
And I watched
it all as a boy. I was a spectator.
Then one spring
everything changed. I think I was about 12 years old give a take
a year or two. I was watching dad watching his garden when he called
me over. He put his arm around my shoulder and said, "This
is all yours to take care of now!"
I was stunned.
role went through a radical transformation. What was once a regular
back yard garden now looked like acres and acres of garden to care
for! Besides - how could I even begin to take care of something
that seemed to appear almost magically year by year and how could
I be responsible for that absolutely wonderful harvest of fresh
produce we had each fall? I would never manage the brilliant planning
dad always did with his garden so that we were harvesting for the
longest time. The tomatoes alone fed us during the fall and the
canned version lasted most of the year.
all yours to take care of now?"
It seemed like
the most impossible of all tasks. How in the world could I even
conceive of taking care of something that only my father could produce?”
Our Garden – Hard work
It is hard work
and that is why we have to be motivated by something more powerful,
something deeper and meaningful.
There is epiphany of praise here today. Have you ever had a praise
epiphany like this one? I remember something happened to one of
my seminary classmates. She had to go before a group of ministers
for her ordination and she had heard the one minister was tough
and she felt nervous about it but when she got into the meeting,
she saw that something had closed this minister’s mouth –
not a question did he utter. She was so astonished and taken aback,
she said she came out of that meeting and without any intention
but a natural response, she began singing the Doxology. A standard
offertory response in all Methodists churches.
WHO IS DAVID
I see David in that today. So, if you ever have been in that place,
you can enter into his emotions and his deep abiding love.
with God in the fields – Good foundation
It is said that
the most precious time you can spend with God is with as little
material around as possible. He spent much time in nature and surroundings.
This is the
foundation of David’s reverence for God
messed up in his life, we know without a doubt that David loved
Not just a reverence
as we might find in the Psalm today but a deep and abiding love.
REFLECTIONS OF GOD
This is an epiphany.
Obvious that he loves God
There is a reverence
for God he places in a paradox the God’s majesty and this
is how much you love us this is how much.
He is in love
with God and has a wonderful awe for God.
When we got those surveys back from the church about where did we
meet God and where does God meet us and where do we meet God. The
majority of the answers were in nature.
It reminds me
of a story that I read about a rabbi and his son.
The son would
enter his house after school place his backpack on the dining room
table. Leave the house through the back door and head into the woods
behind the house. At first, the rabbi gave little thought to his
son’s ritual. But it continued for days and then weeks, every
day, out in the woods for almost a half hour. The rabbi grew concerned.
“My son,” he said one day. “I notice that every
day you leave home to spend time in the woods. What is it you are
the son replied. “There is no need to worry. I go into the
woods to pray. It is in the woods that I can talk to God.”
the rabbi said, clearly relieved. “but as the son of a rabbi,
you should know that God is the same everywhere.” Yes Papa.
“I know that God is the same everywhere.” “But
I am not.”
when we are in nature. When we get in touch with nature we are in
touch with God in a pure way. IN a way that sometimes in our material
places we cannot. We’re different.
That is why so many of us love Camp Mack. Because transformation
happens there for many children and adults. We are in touch with
God in the most natural space. The less material things and the
more natural habitat gives us a greater opportunity to be with God.
can’t help but have to be in our time with God inside but
it is nature in the most complete state that brings us to a full
THERE IS AN
INTERRELATEDNESS IN THE SPIRIT OF GOD
We are in the center of God and God is in the center of creation
– nature and humanity God – We belong to God and God
permeates the very being of creation and God loves it.
– let our minds open – let God take us to what God wants
us to know.
We find a place
of Oneness – and it makes sense. We have an epiphany.
SPENT HIS TIME IN NATURE AMONG GOD’S CREATION
That is what happened to David today and to us when we come into
a Oneness with God in nature.
It is there
where we might break into a praise as a inherent response.
You might say
David becomes mindful of the things of God.
That is what the Psalmist says about God with us.
3 When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon
and the stars that you have established; 4 what are human beings
that you are mindful of them, mortals that you care for them?
Mark Rullo writes:
Calvin Trillin's lighthearted and best-selling tribute to his late
wife, Alice, can make some husbands nervous. Ordinary husbands the
ordinary, absentminded kind. You know the kind of husbands that
are not mindful of any of their wives lives. Trillin wrote books
about her and she appeared in many of his New Yorker columns. Throughout
their 36-year marriage, Trillin catalogued her sense of humor, her
sense of style and her childlike sense of wonder. He noticed little
things about Alice that most spouses let slide like fish over an
open dam. This may explain why a young woman once wrote Trillin
and con-fided that "she sometimes looked at her boyfriend and
asked herself, 'But will he love me like Calvin loves Alice?'"
We might say that Calvin Trillin was mindful of his wife Alice.
We might say that his love for her never dimmed but continued throughout
their lives together.
the things of God and he was mindful of all that was around him.
You might say
we become mindful while we are in nature.
We become mindful
of God’s love for all his creation.
We become mindful
of our interconnectedness in the universe.
We might say
To Love the things that God loves we are mindful of who God is in
creation – in humanity and in nature.
A love that isn’t distracted
OF LOVE IS:
A love that refuses to be disinterested
A focused and attentive love.
Mindfulness delights in its beloved
That is what
God wants from us to love the things he loves.
To stay mindful on the things of God in and out of nature .
We are to bring
that mindfulness and praise and live it out.
We are to live out our salvation in mindfulness of the things of
The things that God cherishes and delights in.
The things that
God is mindful of – the things that God loves.
HAPPENS IN OUR MINDFULNESS
when we discover the oneness in nature – in our interconnectedness.
It is like an
God commands us or for our own sustainability
We begin to:
love God and the things God loves.
ACTIONS – LIVE OUT OUR LIVES IN PRAISE
Our actions become spirit-led – we grieve and delight in the
things that God does. Not just in nature but in all creation –
the injustices of humanity.
We might grieve
When we see some of things happening in our environment –
a righteous indignation rises up in us – the oil spills –
We might grieve
The human trafficking of men, women and children all over the world
and into the U.S.
We might delight
Each time we take a stand and do something to care for the environment
We might delight
Each time we choose to stand up and against homelessness in the
have to give you statistics. You see the devastation and the injustices.
IN AND OUT
When we remain mindful of the things of God – when we remain
mindful of the things of God in and out of nature.
Whether we are
sitting out in the prayer garden or in Camp Mack, we continue that
mindfulness – with the same epiphany truth.
Our lives are
lived in praise. Our lives are an inherent response to God’s
We live out
our lives in praise – living out our lives with a sense of
We know that
God commands us to care for creation.
We know that we need it for our sustainability and to our future
But it is when
“We Love God and the Things God Loves.”
We will live out our salvation loving all creation.
We will be the loving stewards of God‘s creation – interconnected
in the majesty and wonder of it all.