Our World Belongs to God 51

It was good to be together on Sunday here in the Sanctuary.  It did not quite feel like home -- too many of you were missing for that to be true. And it did not feel exactly normal -- not with masks, social distancing and no singing. Still, after 27 weeks away, 24 of us were able to gather, and that was significant.

If you were watching from home over Zoom, I hope you felt connected to the worship in the Sanctuary.  We know it was not as polished as it has been, and there were many technical glitches.  Those of you at home will see incremental improvements week by week, just as you did back in March-April when we started all this, so hang in there! 

Now there are rumours that if COVID case numbers continue to rise the government will again further restrict our gathering.  If so, we are all back on Zoom. Let's just cross that bridge if and when we come to it, and not panic.  In the meantime, we continue on as one church meeting in two ways, in-person and online.  But in every other way, we are ONE CHURCH.


We continue on this week with the "Contemporary Testimony: Our World Belongs to God." 

Paragraphs 1-6: Preamble (April 11-29)
Paragraphs 7-12: Creation (April 30-May 8)
Paragraphs 13-17: Fall (May 11-15)
Paragraphs 18-22: Redemption (May 18-22)
Paragraphs 23-27: Jesus Christ (May 25-29)
Paragraphs 28-30: Holy Spirit (June 1-2, 5)

Paragraphs 31-33: Revelation (June 8-10)
Paragraphs 34-40: God's New People
(June 11-19)

Paragraphs 41-54 The Mission of God's People (June 23-)

Paragraph 51 (Today)
We lament that our abuse of creation
has brought lasting damage
to the world we have been given:
polluting streams and soil,
poisoning the air,
altering the climate,
and damaging the earth.
We commit ourselves
to honor all God’s creatures
and to protect them from abuse and extinction,
for our world belongs to God.

[Genesis 1:28-29; 7:1-5; Psalm 8; and Romans 8:18-25 teach that we are entrusted with caring for the earth.]

I was recently in a discussion with a close Christian friend who told me that he didn't believe humans are responsible for climate change. Now I think I'm usually pretty longsuffering with people whose views don't align with mine.  This time, however, I confess I got hot immediately.  I said some things I had to apologize for later. But I still think he's terribly wrong.

Having said that, I wonder how I'm really helping the climate situation. I try and stay educated, but that does not keep the Arctic ice intact. And I confess I've never done what Paragraph 51 commits me to--protecting species from extinction.

I learned a lot from my late father-in-law, who had ten acres of land that he kept clean and green, even if the only one who would ever see it was God. (Actually others clearly noticed, because one day he was designated a "Watershed Steward" by the Niagara Escarpment Commission.) So now I have adopted a section of the City of Mississauga's land that the City leaves as a "natural regeneration area," which I keep scrupulously clean. It won't save the planet, but God and I find pleasure in it.

And our theology matters.  Although we are not perfectly consistent on this matter, at least we in the Christian Reformed Church have resources such as the Office of Social Justice to look to, to inform our theology. 

On this Global Climate Action Day, I'd love to hear from you.  How do you live out your faith and care for this beautiful world that God has entrusted to our care?

Today's song is Creation Sings the Father's Song by Keith & Kristyn Getty.

Go with this blessing:

The Lord bless you and keep you;
The Lord make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you;
The Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace.

Pastor Mark

PS - If you are here on Sunday, bring a lunch. We will eat together on the lawn!



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