Sermon From Fear to Gratitude Joel 2: 21-27
I start today with the land acknowledgement that we have become familiar with. We are on the territory of the Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) Ojibway/Chippewa, Anishinabek. The languages spoken were the
Mississauga/Eastern Anishinaabe (Ojibwa) and the treaty is the Upper Canada Treaty.
I also start with an older acknowledgement of these lands and that is to the Creator who had provided us with the earth upon which we live.
In the book of Genesis, the first story of creation almost perfectly follows the path of evolution. There was a void and earth. Then there was fish and animals and finally humans.
On a side note, in the first story men and women were created at the same time. The point is that there was a time when the earth did not have any human beings.
Whether you are a creationist or evolutionist, we are new to this world. We are guests.
I sometimes wonder if there were other civilizations before this one. Was there human habitation millions of years ago?
The pictures that come back from mars show a very desolate and dry landscape but the question that the scientists are searching for is, if there was life on that planet millions of years ago.
Did earth go through a desolate time such as Mars is right now?
I have wondered if our ore deposits are just the remnants of an old city.
The earth is complete without us. The food chain does not need us. If suddenly the human race disappeared the earth would survive and in fact move ahead easily.
The lines from the scripture reading start with
Do not fear, O soil; be glad and rejoice,
for the LORD has done great things!
I thought it was going to say – rejoice oh soil we have got rid of the humans.
We need to understand that we are guests here. Unnecessary guests as far as survival of the earth.
In the last half century there has been tremendous pressure for us to look after the earth or we are going to kill it. We have been warned of climate change and many governmental policies and public concern reflect this.
Forty years ago we were made aware of the hole in the ozone layer. It was such a common theme that it was a topic even in cartoons. If you remember Broom Hilda, she showed up in one cartoon with a burn on her belly and the caption stated “Trust me to sit under the hole in the ozone”. That so called hole was caused by CFC’s of which Chorine is a major component. We have virtually stopped using CFC’s and the good news is that the hole seems to be repairing itself.
There was a lot of fear in the concern over the depletion of the ozone layer. There is also a lot of fear in many of the other climate issues. If the ice caps melt we will be flooded! Millions of people will be underwater and our economy will come to a screeching halt.
If the temperature of the earth increases there will be extremely severe and inconsistent weather. The end result will be the death of the human race. People have told me they don’t want to have children due to their fear that the world will become uninhabitable.
If we keep using oil at the rate we now are, there will be a shortage and we will all end up stranded and cold.
Fear is a great motivator. If you can get a group of people to be truly afraid of something you have great control over them. However the minute you instill fear there will be someone looking for a hole. As human beings we react against fear. We question and we dispute the source.
The Covid pandemic is a perfect example. There is tremendous fear. There is also tremendous skepticism and reaction. We haven’t heard the word conspiracy this much in years.
The same is true with climate issues. As soon as anyone raises the issues someone else has a counter source of information. We spend more time arguing than appreciating.
Fear and love are two powerful motivators but if you live in fear you are always looking for a reason to get free. If you live in love you never want to get free.
If we love the creation on which we live then we are not looking for holes in the concerns. If we truly live in a state of gratitude then we want the best for our earth. Not because we are afraid of losing it but because we are thankful for having it.
George Bernard Shaw remarked: “What a person believes may be ascertained not from their creed, but from the assumptions on which they continually act”.
We are guests here on this earth. We are privileged to be able to exist at all. We been given everything that we need to not just survive but to live an abundant live. What an amazing gift!
If you have a piece of art that you truly find beautiful. Perhaps some painting or carving that just speaks to you, you don’t care about its monetary value. If someone says you should be careful with it because it will drop in price you realize they have no understanding of what it means to you. You protect it because you love it.
If we assume the attitude of gratitude we will cherish the earth out of love not fear.
God we give you more than thanks. Into a perfectly harmonious void you raised human beings. Knowing that with your gift of wisdom we could build up or destroy this creation of yours. We thank you for your faith in us. We thank you for your courage.
Help us to appreciate this beautiful piece of art on which we live. Help us to be so overwhelmed by its beauty that any injury to your world is an injury to us. Help us to understand that we are all sisters and brothers here on our home and that caring for each other is caring for you.
We pray in silence for those who especially need your strength this day….
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
SERVICE October 10, 2021
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Board meeting Tues 7pm Gilford
God, Creator Your works are wonderful. You have created the birds of the sky, the animals of the land, the fish of the sea and us. You send your Spirit to renew us. May we be renewed and fed this day. Amen
Hymn – G – 516 Come you Thankful People Come
Scripture Joel 2: 21-27
Reflection From Fear to Gratitude
Hymn G – 519 (T 331) Sing to the Lord of Harvest
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
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Make the cheque out to:
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or Gilford United Church
send to Doris Coborn at 1468 Gilford Rd, Gilford. L0L1R0
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New Revised Standard Version
21 Do not fear, O soil;
be glad and rejoice,
for the LORD has done great things!
22 Do not fear, you animals of the field,
for the pastures of the wilderness are green;
the tree bears its fruit,
the fig tree and vine give their full yield.
23 O children of Zion, be glad
and rejoice in the LORD your God;
for he has given the early rain[a] for your vindication,
he has poured down for you abundant rain,
the early and the later rain, as before.
24 The threshing floors shall be full of grain,
the vats shall overflow with wine and oil.
25 I will repay you for the years
that the swarming locust has eaten,
the hopper, the destroyer, and the cutter,
my great army, which I sent against you.
26 You shall eat in plenty and be satisfied,
and praise the name of the LORD your God,
who has dealt wondrously with you.
And my people shall never again be put to shame.
27 You shall know that I am in the midst of Israel,
and that I, the LORD, am your God and there is no other.
And my people shall never again be put to shame.