Sermon for 11 Oct 2020

Sermon Thanksgiving and Ownership

When you take ownership you accept responsibility and you realize the immensity of the gift
There comes a point in your life where you take ownership of the tools. Whether this is the kitchen tools, the workshop tools, the gardening tools, the farming tools, the office tools: whatever it is, they become your responsibility.
Many remember a time when they left the tools of your parents unattended. Perhaps you left the vice-grips out all winter. Maybe you left the element turned on when you went out on a date.
Not to be too specific but perhaps you left a sledge hammer in a hay field and the farmer who was doing custom cutting caught it in his mower.
Or maybe you were on someone else’s computer so you used it to search some sketchy sites?
In one way you were sad if you broke something, but it didn’t really matter because it didn’t belong to you. Not that you were necessarily careless. It just belonged to someone else so it was in the end, their responsibility to make sure it got fixed. (Yes my father made sure I fixed the sledgehammer)
Psalm 24 says “The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof”. We have been raised with the idea that the earth belongs to God and God will always repair it. For most of the history of humankind our population was small enough that nature could compensate for the damage we did. We also did not have the capabilities of mass destruction that we have now. One nuclear bomb not only devastates human life it also can do irreparable harm to nature.
Actually if the humans left, the earth likely would repair itself fairly quickly. We would never know because we wouldn’t be here.
The earth doesn’t need us but we need the earth
So we need to take ownership. The earth has been given to us. The earth is a gift but we need to take responsibility
There is an interesting transition that happens when the gift becomes your own
When you borrowed your parents car and someone scratched it – you were afraid of getting caught but your weren’t specifically upset about the damage to the vehicle. However when it became your car – well that was a different story. You were no longer worried about getting caught – you were upset about the actual damage.
We should be at that point in our treatment of the earth. We should be upset about the condition of the earth – not because we are afraid of getting caught but because we realise it is our responsibility to fix it and maintain it.
We should be proud of the condition of the earth.
There has been a theological shift that has taken place in the last few years. We have moved from the God of judgement and fear to the God of love.
If your parents were abusive you didn’t mind if things get broken so long as you didn’t get caught. If your parents were loving, you didn’t want their things to get broken because you loved them. You realize that the gift they gave you was out of love. So you wanted to look after it
The same thing is true with the earth.
The earth is a gift.
It was here before us and will be long after us.
That is when we start to understand the immensity of this earth.
The more we learn, the more amazing the world becomes. I could stand here for the next 1000 years (sometimes it may seem like that) and describe how incredible the earth is.
However like the lepers in the story, most choose to ignore the gift. We just go on from day to day and don’t pay much attention to the wonders of the world.
We have often heard about the 7 wonders of the world but the fact that a spider can walk across the ceiling and not fall off has them all beat. A spider is nothing compared to the intricacies and the interaction of the natural world.
We breathe in oxygen and expel carbon dioxide. Trees take in carbon dioxide and give out oxygen. How amazing is that? Think about that.
You plant a seed and it can grow into food.
We have enough resources to feed and house everyone. Why don’t we?
There is nothing that doesn’t have a purpose (Except for the avocado pit)
As we discover science, we get more amazed at the interactions of the world. Trees communicate with each other.
Ecologist Suzanne Simard discovered that trees communicate their needs and send each other nutrients via a network of latticed fungi buried in the soil — in other words, she found, they “talk” to each other. They also send distress signals. When one type of tree is being cut there is a reaction by the others of the same species.
The only part of nature that may not perform within the beneficial parameters is the human being.
The creation story, mistakenly claims that God tells the human race that we should have dominion over nature. Unfortunately we have interpreted that to mean that we can just use and abuse the world we live in.
It’s time for us to truly appreciate what we have for all of us and the generations to follow.
By being thankful we start to realise our responsibility and the immensity of this gift that we live on.
We thank you God, for creating the world
and for preserving it until now.
We thank you for the regular return of day and night,
and of the seasons.
We thank you for the sustaining power of the earth
and for the dependability of nature and of time.
We thank you for our memory,
which enables us to build on the experiences of the past;
for our imagination,
which admits us to a wider world than we could otherwise know;
and for foresight,
by which we plan for the future.
We thank you for second chances when we fail;
for friends and family with whom we can celebrate our successes;
and for those closest to us who support us in our times of need.
We thank you for Jesus and the many ways you reach us.
We thank you for the great variety of people and cultures
Make us aware of those who have little food or friends to comfort them in body or spirit.
Bless those who are unable to be with us this day,
and those who have gone on before us.
Help us to be the most amazing part of your creation.
Now we pray in the way Jesus taught us.
Our Father who art in heaven, Hallowed by thy name
Thy kingdom come, thy will be done in earth as it is in heaven
Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us
lead us not into temptation. but deliver us from evil
for thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory
forever and ever Amen
Etransfer info at bottom of page
Gilford Drive through hot roast beef supper On November 18
Thanks to helpers and decorations
Opening Prayer
Hymn – We plough the Fields VU 520
Scripture Luke 17: 11-19
Lord’s Prayer
Hymn For the Fruit of All VU 227
Go now in Peace
Go now in peace, Never be afraid
God will go with you, each hour of every day
Go now in faith, steadfast strong and true
Know God will guide you in all you do,
Go now in love and show you believe
Reach out to others so all the world can see
God will be there, watching from above
Go now in peace, in faith and in love
Amen, Amen, Amen
Info about contributing
The traditional way is to send a cheque via mail to one of the treasurers.
Make the cheque out to:
Churchill United Church
send to Agnes Cole at 226 Valleyview Dr. Churchill, Ont L0L1K0
or Gilford United Church
send to Doris Coborn at 1468 Gilford Rd, Gilford. L0L1R0
An Alternative (and better) way is Etransfer
(This method is faster, cheaper and cleaner. If you don’t know how to do it, the bank or some young kid has instructions)
Send the Etransfer to
The security question is – What is the name of your church
Answer – Churchill
No security question
Another option is contact us and we will pick it up from your porch. Thanks