Summary: God’s good work surrounds us, includes us, and is in us.
A worried mother wondered where her daughter was on the rainy school day afternoon. She should have been home by now. The rain was heavy, the thunder loud, and the lightning was bright.
Finally, after a few anxious minutes she decided to put her coat on and look for her late child. Out the door and down the street toward the school she went. As she turned the far corner of their street she spotted her daughter, walking slowly and smiling largely, toward home.
The daughter spotted her mom and ran to her grinning from ear to ear. "Where have you been? Don’t you know that it is lightning and you could be killed?" said the anxious mother. "But, mom," replied the wide-eyed little girl, "isn’t this neat? The puddles, the rain, the boom-booms, and besides, God is taking my picture!"
The creation of God, the work of God, is a thing of wonder. But, how often do we stop and simply step back and look around us and saying, "Amazing!" On this Labor Day weekend and on this Communion Sunday, we are stopping to say, "Wow, isn’t it amazing?" For both God’s work of creation and His work of redemption should give us pause for thanksgiving.
This is Labor Day weekend and we are celebrating the value of work. I know that for some of us this has been a challenging year regarding work. Some have had little or no work and others have had work that did not seem to end. Let us be thankful for the work that we have and ask God to help us to work as for the Lord.
As we spend a few moments on work, I want us all to participate in a little project that you can do while listening to me. Along the center aisle are some containers of crayons and some paper. Please take 1 or 2 crayons and a sheet of paper and pass the rest on through your pew.
Your assignment for this morning is to draw a picture of your current job. If you are retired draw a picture of the job your retired from. Stick figures are fine. Maybe you just want to draw a symbol of your work. If you work with computers, draw a picture of a computer. If you are a student, that is your job, draw something related to being a student – your school or a book or your locker.
Don’t worry about how it looks. That is not the point. I am not going to ask you to share your drawings. As you leave today you will be handed a refrigerator magnet so that you can put your drawing on your refrigerator at home. Unfortunately I only have 36 magnets and so we will limit it to 1 or 2 per family. There is a reason for this assignment that I will share in few moments.
Our text for this morning is an important one. "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth."
As we read the rest of Genesis 1, we are given the story of how God created the world. I have my creation globes with me and as I place them in front of us I would have us think about the creativity and the orderliness of His process. (Place the globes on the communion table.)
In His act of creating this world, there was a defined pattern and notice as you read through the rest of chapter 1, how it all comes together. This world was not created in a haphazard and random way. It was created in an orderly fashion with a purpose and place behind each period of creation.
On this day, we need to be reminded that God’s good work surrounds us, includes us, and is in us.
One of my favorite hymns is "This Is My Father’s World." "This is my Father’s world and to my listening ears, all nature sings and around me rings, the music of the spheres. This is my Father’s world, I rest me in the thought of rocks and trees, of skies and seas His hand the wonders wrought." There is good theology in that verse. The hymn writer reminds us of the greatness and grandeur of creation which surrounds us and points to God.
This verse is a religious statement; a theological statement about the creation of our world. It is not a scientific statement. It is a statement about who created the world. We know that this verse and this passage of scripture, has been the subject of much debate in the past 140 years with the advent of the theory of evolution that began with the work of Charles Darwin. However, I came across this interesting story, which I believe to be true, which also ties in with our theme of work and labor.