Care vs. Careless - Jan 22, 2023
Pastor Mike (00:01):
But what if God has calling us to live a careful life, A life that that has some intentionality to it. A, a life that, that pays attention to consequences, a life that actually plans out something.
Hannah Hunter (00:16):
Hey, beautiful people. Welcome back to Sundays with the Gathering. I’m Hannah Hunter, the director of Digital reach here at The Gathering Place in Palm Beach Gardens. This week, pastor Mike brings us a message on what it means to build a life of care in a world of carelessness.
Pastor Mike (00:30):
So we’re in the, this sermon series looking at the first creation story in the Bible from Genesis chapter one. And, and why I found that as helpful is that, you know, as we are in the beginning of a new year, a lot of us are thinking about how we can be the reorder our lives, how we can be more faithful to the gospel, how, how we can be more faithful to the people that, that, that God has called us to be with. And and I find that if we would take a moment to just kind of look how, how God started ordering the world through, through this story, that maybe we can get some insight on where we can align our lives and, and maybe realign our things. So, uh, today we’re jumping into the third day of creation, which is Genesis chapter one, verse nine to 13.
I wanna invite you to listen to these words, and God said, let the water under the sky be gathered to one place and let ground appear. And so, and, and it was so. God called the ground land and gathered waters, he called seas. And God saw that it was good. Then God said, let the land produce vegetation, seed bearing plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with seed in it according to the various kinds. And so it was, so the land produce vegetation, plants bearing seed according to their kinds and trees bearing fruit with seed in it according to their conscience. And God saw that it was good and there was evening and there was morning the third day, a again, we’re learning from this simple, you know, story or explanation of how the, the biblical authors were trying to understand what God was saying to them when God was saying, this is how I created the world.
And today we’re invited to reimagine those scriptures that many of us are very familiar with. But, but also I’m hoping that by reimagining and listening to the Holy Spirit talk to us today, that we’ll get some insights and tools on actually how to read the rest of the Bible. So if you remember from last week, we, we were looking at about the vault and, and how we focused on the vault was we said, you know what? When you’re reading the Bible, start looking at words that are repeated a lot. You know, things that, little themes that are repeated a lot are anything that that seems out of place. And, and so, um, we’re gonna do two parts of, of this reading, um, of the scripture today. And it’s this kind of an exercise I hope will deepen your faith. But, but also I believe that God will speak to us because when we read, when we read the scripture, um, yes, there is a, a spiritual meaning to it.
I believe that God has something that is timely for us to hear right now with what you are going through, what you are experiencing. And then also I believe that there’s, you know, the, the original intent of the author, um, how God was talking to them, which again, we can see in this text is like, how did we get this world? And where was God in the midst of that? And then sometimes there is the plain meaning of scripture. You know, you don’t have to overcomplicate, you just gotta read it and just say, okay, what is the author trying to say? What is God trying to say to this? So today what we’re gonna be looking at is both the spiritual meaning of things and the plain meaning of things. So when I was, when I was in my studies preparing for this, like some key words that kept on coming to this popping up over and over again was this whole thing about gathering.
I thought it was just interesting how, how God’s saying, and you know, okay, now there’s a bunch of water on on the, on, on, on the surface because we separated the waters yesterday and now we have to gather all this waters together. Now I was just wondering myself like, wasn’t the water already gathered? It was there, but, but for some reason God starts gathering all this water and out of that water comes land another key word that kept on key words that kept on coming to me. Um, the word seeds kept on coming up, you know, I mean there, there was a, there was a lot of talk about seeds in these, in these few verses. And then also there’s a lot of talk, um, about fruit and trees. And so what the heck can we get out of this from a spiritual meaning? We were talking about gathering waters and we’re thinking about, you know, fruits and trees and all this stuff.
But if we could just kind of look at it through a spiritual lens right now, um, I like how the scripture invites us to kind of start organizing our life down here. And what I’m saying is, you know, God says, okay, there’s the sea and there’s the land. We know that in the very beginning when, when creation was started, it says that the, it described it as waters and it said the waters were deep. And so therefore, I believe that there are some deep things in our lives. There are some deep things going on in our souls. And God says, you know what? We, in order to live, uh, an order of life, maybe we gotta learn how to keep those deep things in one area. And that means that when, when you have the deep things in one area, area, we have this other area called land.
And when I think about land, I think about living life on the surface. I’m talking about our everyday living. So, so we’re gonna be focusing on our everyday living just through the simple talk about trees and plants and all those things. And we’ll dedicate another day of creation to talk about what to do with those deep things that are inside our soul. So when I started thinking about this everyday living and looking out in our community, looking at what I see in, in media, the messages that I’m hearing, the advertisements that I see, one thing that just seems to come up a lot is that a lot of people just want a stress-free, carefree, careless life. You know, you just kind of want the like, kind of the plug and play. You just want to go, we want things automatic. We don’t wanna think too deeply about things, but I think there’s a, a problem or a caution that we need to be paying attention to because there is a price we pay when we say, you know, I want things so easy, so simple, simplify this, simplify that.
You know, I just, I just wanna live. If you go back to the, this, the root word of the word careless, it means not giving sufficient attention or thought to avoiding harm or errors. If I’m really honest with myself, I fall into this careless living. I just live, you know, I just, I just go by, you know, you go by what you feel. I, you know, I’m driving one day, you know, and we have, we talked about having dinner plans and all of a sudden I start smelling and thinking to seeing images of tacos, and all of a sudden it becomes taco night, depending on, regardless of what we already had, you know, thought about in our fridge, we’re like, Hey, let’s just put that aside and have that for another day and let’s have taco night. Um, I think too often we, we live in such a way that we don’t think about long-term consequences.
And a lot of times, even when we think about creation, we talk about creation about usually in terms of beauty. And then when we talk about our lives, you know, we, we kind of go more into what, what looks good to us and what feels good if we’re really honest, when we get in trouble, when we’re living this careless kind of life, um, we’re living on impulses. There’s not much attention given to our decisions. We’re just kind of existing just, just going about it. And, and I, as I was reflecting on this text, again, cuz this is how God is ordering the world, said, this world can be just good for generations to come. We realize that we cannot be just careless in life. You know, there’s has to be some intentionality. And so I wanna ask you, as you’re reflecting on this, you know, how much of our life’s activities are consumed with meaningless activities that spend time for a moment instead of investing in our future? Man, we waste a lot of time, don’t we?
Very early on in the Bible, right? We, we see on the third day of creation, we find that trees are mentioned and we, and we don’t just see just one variety of tree, but we see various kinds of trees and they are not mentioned just for their beauty. Cuz usually like, you know, when people go out into, into the forest, like, wow, those trees are beautiful. I remember like the, the first time, like I, I went out west. I mean, I was just blown away by just the size of the, of the trees out west. And, and I, and I’m looking at the beauty, but I, I’m not thinking so much about how those trees were, were meant to, to give fruit and to, and to sustain life. What we see in the scripture is that we see all these different types of trees and we see those trees we’re meant to, um, to have seeds in them.
I mean, there’s this whole emphasis on seeds. We see this whole emphasis on fruit and we see that they were given for our use. And so what if God’s call on our lives was not to just live this, um, careless life, but what if God has calling us to live a careful life, A life that that has some intentionality to it, a, a life that, that pays attention to consequences, a life that actually plans out some things. If you think about careful, you know, just the adjective word, careful, it means making sure of avoiding potential danger, mishap or harm cautious. But, but the second definition, I I I resonate more with this is done with or showing thought and attention. And I, and I just wonder what would our life look like Is if we really put some thought and attention to, to everything that we do.
Now, I’m not saying be compulsive and create some kind of, uh, secondary anxieties for ourselves, but I am saying that, you know, if we kind of just got rid of the, the careless living and we started having a care living, we might experience life more fully. We might be able to pay attention to some of the, the blessings that God has given to us all the time. That sometimes when we are just living, we don’t, we don’t think, we don’t think to be thankful, we don’t think to, to bless someone else around. We don’t think that God has organized all these things for not only my good, but for the good of the world. And so I want to invite you to think about your activities and think of your activities in terms of these like trees. And think of your activities in terms of fruit. Think of your activity in terms of seeds, okay? All these things point to a future, something beyond what is we are currently experiencing. And I guess the thing that we have to ask ourselves is do these activities contain seeds that prepare for new life?
Another way of asking ourselves. And man, I mean, when I was preparing this, I, I was so tempted to, you know, we have all these like streaming act apps and things, you know, and we all have our shows that we like to watch. But, but in this time when I was preparing, I got a little bit of conviction and I’m like, man, is this fruitful thinking about those dang trees and fruits and plants that give fruits. You know, another thing I think about is farming. You see, in order to produce fruit, the land must be prepared. The land must be prepared. And, and use this as an analogy for our lives, seeds need to be planted. And after they’re planted, they have to be nurtured and, and cared for.
I think about our stewardship, all the things that God has entrusted in our care, our time, our talent, our resources, and are we living with care with all those things? Is there something, is there some areas in our lives where we just kind of just been just going? Have we been, have we been spending without thinking? Um, have we just been, you know, you know, given too much time to something in our life that really, you know, we’ve been neglecting some other things that are very, very important. Have, do you have some gifts, you know, some, some specific talents that only you can do, or maybe a few group of people that can do, but you’re not using them for the glory of God. Translate that to a church. You know, when a, when a church is thriving, people are living with care. They, they, they, they, they’re, there’s some intentionality.
They’re living on purpose. They, they, they’re living according to, to be the person they are called to be. And when churches are not thriving, what happens is people are living careless. They’re just existing. They’re going through the motions, they’re just kind of just checking the boxes, doing the, the minimal standards. And we can say that from church to personal life to every area of our lives. And I guess the question is, is where are you? So how can you and I prepare our soil to receive those good seeds? I think we need to take some time to look at some of the daily rhythms of our lives. And I wanna invite you just to reflect and start looking at, you know, how how does my day look normally? How do I start things off?
How do I, how do I begin my work? How do I be, begin my rest? All these things. How do I interact with my family? I mean, we have these incredible moments in lives and we waste so much of ’em because we’re, we’re living without care or concern. And so instead of experiencing, you know, the abundant life that Jesus promised, we’re living careless, we’re, we’re caring less and less, more and more. If we want to experience the fullness of life, we have to be careful. We have to care fully about this life. The other question that we need to ask ourselves is what are you planting?
What are you filling your soul with lately? If we had a, an opportunity to, to, to look at the information and media that you can, you’ve been consuming, is it helpful? Is it fruitful? Another thing I think that’s important about these whole trees thing, again, with, with the land, you know, again, separating that, that deep, which sometimes the deep there’s, if you think about water is always chaos. There’s waves and seas, but a lot of that’s happening about what’s happening on the surface and what’s going on beneath the surface. But in terms of this preserving land, we know that, that trees and vegetation are so important for preventing erosion, right? They’re there to, to maintain the land. And I guess the question that, that I’m asking as we’re reading this is that what do we need to do in our lives to get a little bit more rooted, to have some depth to us to really get into that soil.
So today, you know, I’m not asking you a bunch of, uh, give you a bunch of answers. Um, I’m asking you some questions that you really need to reflect on because these are the questions that came up when I was reflecting on, on these, on these scriptures. What are some fruitful practices or habits that you need to take up today? So, Lord, I just asked that you start mulling that into our minds and hearts right now. Help us to be a little bit restless on that. And, and now let’s take a shift. Okay, so we talked about the spiritual meaning of things. Let’s take a shift now to some of the plain meaning of the scripture. Third day of creation. You know, my, my grandfather was a mechanic that eventually, you know, had his own shop and had several, I mean, really successful business. And as a little kid, I had the chance to, to work with him.
Um, like I’m talking about like starting from probably when I was about eight onward. Um, I, I’d worked with my grandfather in his garage and my grandfather, um, one thing I I I’ve really grown to appreciate about my grandfather is that he cared about all of his tools. I mean, his garage was organized, it was clean. And, and I remember he was like really emphatic about doing things the right way. In other words, he said, you know, you gotta use the right tool for the right job. You can’t just be, you know, trying to rig something up or, or try to misuse it. Cuz usually what happens is you damage what you’re trying to fix and you damage the tool that you have. And so my, my, my grandfather’s garage could be, you know, I mean he valued his tools, um, you know, you felt, you could see the pride and joy in his work when he entered his garage.
I mean, that was my grandfather. We had a family friend that was also a mechanic, wasn’t so successful like my grandfather. I’m talking, I’m talking about like material successfully. My, my grandfather had a very thriving business and a great reputation in his community. But our friend Bob was a little bit different. You know, Bob, um, you probably wouldn’t nickname him like a shade tree mechanic and, and Bob’s family, you know, they, they were all like mechanics and, and Bob was about the same age as my grandfather. And Bob was a little different. Bob, like, his tools were everywhere. I mean, like, he had like the tool, there was like no real order to, to how his tools were. I mean, things were just like placed in different toolboxes and, and if you ever were trying to help out on things and, and I, and I was friends with one of one of Bob’s grandchildren, you know, it, I mean it was like a scavenger hunt.
So basically like everything took longer than what it should just cuz you were trying to find the right tool. And then this was like categorically different than what my, my grandfather’s household was like. And Bob’s people, I mean like in their whole, they had no problem, like misappropriating different tools for different jobs, you know. And so I remember one time there was something that they needed to, to do and, and they couldn’t find the right tool and they couldn’t even find a simple like Phillips screw screwdriver that whatever, you know, Phillips, I guess has numbers on their screwdrivers of different types. And he couldn’t find the right size. And, and they’re like, Hey, go find a so, cause we gotta get this thing off. And they run into the house and they get Bob’s wife’s German knives, which I remember they were proud about those knives.
And they take these German knives and they start trying to use a knife to get this Phillip’s head out on, on this, on this instrument here. And, and, and what happens is they start bending up the knife. They, they start, you know, the, then, then they, then they just leave the knife with all the other tools. And that knife never made it back to the collection. And the reason why I’m, I’m making this shift or, or talking to you about this is because doesn’t it get you aggravated sometimes when there’s something important that you like, that you really value? Maybe it’s a family heirloom that’s been passed down to you. Maybe, maybe it’s a, it’s a, it’s a, a a certain cloth that you use and then all of a sudden you have a guest or somebody comes in and they don’t see the value of those things and, and they, and they use it for the wrong use and, and it ends up messing it up or whatever. Doesn’t it get under your skin a bit? It gets under mine, and I know for sure it got under my grandpa’s skin, you know, using the wrong instrument. You know, for for, for the, for the task at hand. I want you to ask you as we’re, as we’re moving in this direction, what is sacred in your life and what are some important things that you want to preserve? And we’re gonna make a connection to this, okay? They’ll play me. But, but this, this track with me for a little bit.
Let’s get back to the trees in the Bible. In this part of Genesis, the trees are not mentioned just for their beauty, but because each gave fruit with seeds in it, and they were given to us for use. And this shows God’s generosity to us, an abundance in variety. I mean, God doesn to just give us like one flavor of anything. He, I mean God is not a God. He just gives us one flavor of ice cream. I mean, God, God gives us a abundance and he gives us variety. And and also if you think about the notion of seeds today, right? I mean, some seeds are used to produce oil that could be used for cooking and lighting and, and other varieties. Um, some, some seeds can be used for medicinal purposes, some for beauty treatments. Um, we see that fruit and seeds provide food and we can add to the list of what, what trees do.
I mean, they provide shade, um, they break the wind, they provide habitats for animals and they’re building and, and construction materials that come outta trees. Um, we see that there’s, there are some trees that give out these great senses at times. And some of us, they flare up our allergies, but, but we see it, there’s a lot going on in God’s creation. And why do I bring this up? Genesis chapter two, verse 15 says this. So this is like creation story part two, okay? This is the second creation story that begins a little different than the first one. But in verse 15, it says, the Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. Work, work in, in this context, in the Hebrew word is this word called [inaudible]. And it’s not just a work, it actually means if you look at the roots of it means to, to work, to serve it, to dress it, to till it to serve for another. And that’s what God, when he created humans. And he, and he said, okay, you know, I created this, this, these vast plants and all these things in trees and all that, your task as human beings is to serve it, to work it. And then the, and then the second word is take care of it, which is chak, which shamir means to, to keep it, to keep it, to guard it,
To protect it, take care of it.
You still got that image about what’s important to you. You know, what are some things that you’d like to preserve? What what delights in you? When God made space for land to come up and God made trees with all these different fruits and all these different seeds and all these different purposes that we know that they can, that they could be used for, at the end of that day, God said it was good. God was happy about these things. God was proud of these things. They had a good purpose. And then God says, humans who are made of my image, you need to see the value in these good things. And just as I care about ’em and see the goodness in creation, so do you. Now we gotta make a major shift in our thought life, okay? And this is some plain meaning stuff here, okay?
Because like I said, we’re just in, you know, four verses of the Bible here. But here’s the shift in the Western church, okay? And when I’m not talking about the western church, I’m talking about the church that that eventually came out of the Roman Empire, okay? So the church that when they’re starting to translate things, you know, they’re, they’re using a lot of Latin, okay? So they, they, they get, they, they deviate. They, they, they leave behind the Hebrew, they, they leave behind the, the, the rich traditions of Judaism. They leave behind the rich traditions of the early church and, and, and they start having this imperialistic mentality, right? And in this imperialistic mentality, we, we start getting a change or a shift in the theological focus or, or the understanding of what the Bible means. And here’s where the shift goes from. There becomes a whole lot of talk about what man’s purpose is doing or what human’s purpose is supposed to be on the earth.
And the shift goes from caring and keeping the garden to have dominion. Have you ever heard that? That humans are supposed to have dominion over God’s creation? In other words, control over God’s creation. And so what we see here is that there’s been this misappropriation of what humans’ roles are and how they relate to creation. And, and the church overemphasized the western church, I’m gonna highlight that the Western church, that means that all churches that start coming out of Europe that eventually start doing all their colonial work and start going into the Americas that start going into, into the global south. This church starts putting a huge emphasis to talk a lot about dominion versus caring versus keeping the creation. And here’s what’s happened is that when you have this dominion mentality, first of all, and we’ll look at it later on in the next couple days of scripture, but dominion was talking about the moving stuff, the moving creatures.
But God said, for all this vegetation and all this stuff that’s growing the land, we’re supposed to take care of it. That’s one thing. But the problem with this dominion mentality, it, it affected the church in such a negative way and even greater humanity because then we saw the earth strictly from u u uh, utilitarian purposes. In other words, what can we exploit out of these resources? And, and we forget that when God created this beautiful place called earth that we live on, God said it was good. Did you hear that? It was good. It was meant to be experienced and and lived. And so I think back to my tools in my grandfather’s garage, I knew my de my grandfather like valued his tools. I knew that he valued a certain way of being when you’re in that garage. And because my grandfather valued it so much and I valued my grandfather, I valued those same things.
And I want to use the right tool for the right job. I don’t like to just, you know, cheat things and do things haphazardly. I want to live with intention. I think that God is calling the church to get back to this early call to care about the things that God cares about. The trees and the vegetation of the land are not only good, but they are sacred. And anything less than that, I would say is not even Christian. I would say it’s heretical. And the church needs to get back because we need to have a, a holistic understanding of the gospel. What salvation really means. What does this wellness and goodness, because Jesus salvation is good for everyone, for all things. And sometimes to, to help us with this. Um, we need to hear voices that are not always influenced by, you know, the, the western thought that is this filled with privilege and also our colonial roots and biases.
And so one theologian that, that really helped me in this, he’s a Zambian theologian. Um, he’s a Reverend Cannon, okay? Actually he’s like later on Archbishop and he’s a doctor. And um, and it’s Dr. Coma and here’s what he says. Now, one thing that we have to understand, I think to me, I find as helpful is that, um, in a lot of the global south, there’s like this real integration with, with life and creation. There, there’s like a valuing of it. It’s not just like use it for utilitarian purposes. And so he says this, he says, you know, first of all, we gotta understand that the earth is sacramental. Okay? That’s a big theological world. Sacramental, but, but sac, the word sacrament means, you know, an outward sign, something that’s outside that is talking about something that’s ha an inward grace that’s happening on the inside.
And so he says that the earth is sacramental a place of divine mystery and therefore another form of divine revelation. In other words, if you wanna start, you know, looking at seeing God in new ways and all that, pay attention to the earth. And then second, he says that we have an ethical responsibility to care for future generations by sustaining the life of the earth. Do you see the connection there? When God was creating the trees and the plants on, he was, God was thinking about future and we have that same responsibility. So Dr. Comma goes on and he argues that our understanding of mission, and this is a push for me, cuz you know what, what our mission is right here is extending God’s redeeming love. And everyone always says, what the heck do you mean by that Pastor Mike? Well, right here, I think our understanding mission needs to be broadened to include the ecological mission.
In other words, that, that, that God’s creation can continue to flourish. And not just, this is what he said. I thought this is just really, it hit me hard, not just social mission for the salvation of humanity. So a lot of times when when churches are talking, they have a, they don’t have a holistic understanding of the gospel. They don’t, they’re not seeing the big things. They, they think of only, okay, getting somebody saved so they don’t go to hell. And that’s the gospel. But it needs to be brought in so much for it. So as I’m thinking about this, what is God saying to me? God is saying that honestly the Western church, honestly, this church needs to value planting trees the same way we value planting churches. That’s the shift that God’s calling me to say, what’s going on with the kids over there? They all good? Okay, cool. I just wanna make sure know we got some attention going on. So, all right, did you hear what I’m saying? We gotta a value taken care of God’s creation, planting trees, doing all these things the same way we value saving souls and planting churches cuz they’re all interconnected.
Coma says that God is present on earth. That God made the earth and declared a good, and that Christ is the unifying force and presence holding this whole thing called earth together. And therefore, creation reveals the creator and earth reveals Christ. And then he goes on and he pushes. He goes, therefore, since you know, the, the, the divineness of God, glory is revealed not just in, in the books, not just in the church, but in this complex web of creation. He says it takes the whole world to know the whole gospel. I like that it takes the whole world to know the whole gospel.
So in other words, according to this thinking, to participate in destroying the earth is to participate in destroying the revelation of the creator God. Do you hear that? You’re destroying the revelation of the creator God, when we’re not, when you’re participating in the, in the, in the destroying of the earth and coma challenges Christians everywhere to make a shift, instead of always talking about the missio day, the mission of God. That’s like what we’re talking about. To think about. The missio creates a day, which means the, the mission of God, the, the God, the creator God. And he stresses that, that God is so much on mission, that God is constantly upholding, renewing, and sustaining earth. Um, this is like intrinsic to the creator God’s mission. I mean, I mean we have to have a both and thinking. And then he argues that the prophet Isaiah was right when he proclaimed God’s salvation as the advent of new creation where all creatures will live in that perfect shalom.
I mean that’s what the scripture always points us to this coming back to the garden. And somehow as a church we lost that. We got so westernized, we got so utilitarian folk focused and, and we don’t have times, you know, we could barely get to the point of just taking time to smell the, the flowers. I mean that, that’s a big jump for a lot of Christians. But actually, you know, caring for this creation, this is a challenge and this is what we’re called to do. And we gotta value, value these things the same way that we value salvation for humanity. Cuz here’s what we see in the gospels. We see in the gospels that if there wasn’t a tree, Jesus wouldn’t be able to hang on a cross. They’re all connected, right? And if he wasn’t able to hang on the cross for, for our sins, you know, we wouldn’t have forgiveness, we wouldn’t have the opportunity to start again. And now let’s go to the, the end of the book, the end of the Bible in Revelation chapter 22, verse one to two.
It’s come, it’s coming back to the garden, back to Eden. It says this, it says, then the angel showed me the river of the water of life as clear as crystal flowing from the throne of God and the lamb down, down the middle of the street of the city, on each side of the river stood the tree of life bearing 12 crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations. So at the end of creation, at the end of all things, when, when the kingdom of God fully arise, we see this, this tree of life that’s there.
And I believe that that’s a, a vision for salvation of what this healing looks like. And this tree of life, I mean, think about it. I mean, it’s pretty radical, right? I mean it bears fruit every month, you know, and it’s a different kind of fruit every month. So it’s, it’s pretty wild, right? But, but also, um, we see that the leaves and, and you know, like the leaves of the tree have mean all trees that we know on this planet are, are used to like capture light so they can, you know, be used for, for growth and nurture and all that. But these leaves are used to heal the nations. Every tribe, every ethnic group, every nation yes, has its distinctiveness. And that can be easily divisive. But, but one of the things that we all realize, even in the complexity of, of war right now that’s going on in different places, we all realize that we, we all live on one planet, right?
And, and what happens in some areas affects us in all, in all over the place. And we all depend on God’s creation for the air we breathe, the water we drink, the food we eat. But the problem that we have and and especially in our society here in the United States, is that when we talk about these things of creation care, and we connect them biblically, we think that you gotta be a certain kind of person. We think you gotta be like, you know, we’re these labels as like an environmentalist or a, a tree hugger, uh, radical liberal. What do you, what do you call people that you know, the negative tones turns that you hear? Um, I hear people say, you know, when you talk about this, like, are you going woke on me? You know, people, people say that crap. You know, and, and I’m trying to say, you don’t have to carry those labels.
You could be fully present and fully Christian and still care about God’s creation because God said it was good, and if God values it, so should we. In fact, as I close on this one, in Romans chapter eight, verse 19, it says this, for the creation waits and eat your expectation for the children of God to be revealed. If you, if you read, uh, further, you see that Paul writes that all of creation like your little dog and your parakeet and all those things, you know, are waiting for the children of God to finally show up. Because when the children of God finally show up in every area of life, and they, and they see that salvation is for every part of life, they will value the goodness of creation. They’ll take care of what God is doing. And it will not only be good for human salvation, it will be good for everyone and every thing. So here’s my challenge for you.
We, we’ve been, we’ve been, the, the jump that most of us are comfortable making is like we, we go to beauty, right? We, we appreciate beauty, but sometimes we see in our natural life, beauty just kind of makes us just go for what’s appealing and, and nice for us. Um, creation and like, okay, it’s pretty, I like the pretty flowers, but I don’t want to be woke. I don’t wanna be a tree hugger. I don’t wanna be all these different things, right? But what if we can make a movement from appreciating beauty and caring less about life to actually embrace what God is calling us to do and actually live carefully by caring fully about all of God’s creation and about our actions.
That is what we’re called to do. Let us pray. So God mess us up. God, we’ve been claiming stuff and we’ve been thinking that it, we’ve been faithful to the gospel. And, and Lord, it’s just been this faithfulness to the empire. And I want dark Vader to get the heck outta my church. And I’m tired of this mentality, God, of just us quench in life. And then we’re wasting this good life, this great gift that you had given us on things that are meaningless and they don’t make sense. And so, God, we, we turn, we turn to that wisdom of old, that, that wisdom that’s in the, the very first verses of the Bible. And we see God that we need to learn how to live on this surface.
And that means paying attention to those things that have seed in that, that bear fruit. And help us to see the goodness in all your creation, especially this week and, and all the plant lives and all those things, because God, you care about them. You care about those things. You said they were good and so should we. If that’s not real in our heart, God, then do what you have to do to change it so that we can be in line with what your spirit is doing so that God, we can proclaim the gospel message that is good
Pastor Mike (40:47):
Pastor Mike (40:47):
Every aspect of it. We ask this in Jesus name.
Pastor Mike (40:53):
Hannah Hunter (40:54):
Hey beautiful people, this is Hannah Hunter. I’m the director of Digital Reach here at The Gathering Place in Palm Beach Gardens. Thank you for joining us this week. We love getting to share our journey in Christ and community with you. And if you’re in the Palm Beach area, we’d love to get to connect with you in person at our Sunday worship service at 1115. For more information about our community and faith, check out our firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks for listening.