Summary: The simple truth for today is don’t take for granted what you can’t live without. Or it can be rephrased by saying, Don’t be careless with what you can’t replace. I find that we often take a lot of things for granted in life, we don’t care for them and we
This is My Father’s World
We’re going through Seven Simple Truths About LIFE which was precipitated by my son Luke turning 13. In the Jewish faith, 13 was considered to be the age of adulthood for young men. It may not be so true today with maturity rates but as our sound consultant, Chris Brown, told Luke last month when he heard he had just become a teenager, “Get ready, it’s going to be tough.” Well, it is tough, especially when you don’t live by the rules and what we’ll find today is if you don’t follow today’s rule, then it can be downright toxic.
The simple truth for today is don’t take for granted what you can’t live without. Or it can be rephrased by saying, Don’t be careless with what you can’t replace. I find that we often take a lot of things for granted in life, we don’t care for them and we always assume they’ll just be there. Like your hearing for example. How many of you went to rock concerts as a teen? Where’s the best place to sit? In front of the wall of speakers. And after the concert, your ears are ringing but that goes away in a day or so. But then later in life, you have to ask people to repeat things because you can’t hear them. The same is true with our physical bodies. After Katrina, they were broadcasting on the radio what solution of Clorox and water you needed to spray to kill the mold. They stated it needed to be a 10% solution, Well, my thought was if 10% good then why not 100% I sprayed that in my house and for the next two weeks, I wheezed as I tried to breathe.
Now there’s a 100 different applications of this principle but today I want to just focus on one: the world we live on. This planet is something which is irreplaceable and we’re completely dependent on. And yet, so often we take it for granted or worse, we’re just careless with it.
We hear a lot about going green in the news but today I want to speak about this issue from a faith perspective and a Biblical and theological framework. Today we want to ask this question, “What is it that God expects of us relative to how we live on this plant?” When I was growing up as a kid, my parents would harp on me about turning the lights off after I left a room. I had a hard time remembering to do that and so they were constantly telling me to turn off the lights. “Money doesn’t grow on trees.” And I find that my kids do the very same thing. They go into the bathroom, which is well lit with natural light, turn on every light and then leave with the lights still on. I find I say the same thing to my kids too. I’m turning into my Dad! But with him, it wasn’t so much about the environment as it was wasting money. For us, it’s even more than that. I can harp on my kids all day but I fail to see all of the ways I carelessly use God’s resources myself.
Let’s talk first about our faith and what God calls of us. State with me the Apostles Creed, “I believe in God the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth…” First, We begin with this idea that God created all things. At the beginning of time, he spoke and out of the darkness came light and the universe was born. Four billion years ago, be began to form this planet and 200,000 years ago he began to form us. God is the Creator of all of this and Genesis tells us that he takes delight in creating and at the end of each day, he looked at what he had created and saw that it was good. Second, And at the end of the 6th day, he looks and see that indeed, it was very good. In Job it tells us how God loves and takes delight in his creation. Third, God owns everything. The Psalmist tells us, "The earth is the LORD’s, and everything that lives in it.” Everything that is in the world, God created, so God owns everything. Fourth, we are given dominion. After creating everything God turns to Adam and says, go and “rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground." Dominion over all the earth does not mean we can just use it but instead makes us caretakers of the things of God and we would do that in a way that would please the maker.