St Matthews - Staging
09 September 2018
Care of creation
Susan Adams speaks in the 2018 Season of Creation about how we need to think of God as creat-ing rather than creat-or to help us tackle climate change.
This is the second sermon in Susan Adams "Care of creation" story.
Part one can be found
Rev Dr Susan Adams
Have You Seen?
22 September 2019
Mercy not sacrifice
28 January 2022
What is religious freedom
18 June 2017
12 December 2020
The Great O Antiphons: O Sapientia, O Adonai
04 February 2022
01 March 2015
Being a prophet
27 September 2020
A birthday present for Matthew
25 July 2021
Auckland City Mission and St Matthew's
25 September 2020
02 June 2019
Meditation & Prayer
Arts and Music
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Care of creation
What do we need? Well, we need a church that's down to earth.
And has the courage to take up the theological responsibilities of exploring who we are as human beings Earth creatures in a time of ecological crisis and human collaborative calamity.
Today is the second part as Helen has said of our two sessions when we're thinking about creation last week, we looked at the idea of creation itself and today we're going to be reflecting a little bit on being human as part of that creation.
And it seems to me as I've been thinking of these things that this time we are in need of another Reformation. This time we're in need of an ecological Reformation one that will bring into focus our Earth home this time and not just human persons.
For too long. The church has been overly concerned with getting the gods stuff, right? And policing the boundaries of church and Faith to make sure the rest of us stay within those boundaries of agreed, rightness, The recent Synod that, some of us have been part of distressed me.
For too often. It seemed that what was expressed was a self-satisfied triumphalism a fondness for words and a reluctance to act for those who were not members, who were not part of the group who were inside those boundaries.
And engagement with those people were seen much more by way of a recruitment drive to bring them in.
There's an old saying that seems to me to contain a wise challenge for our time and it says, and you've probably heard it. The church is so Heavenly bound, it's no earthly use. Have you heard that nods? Yes.
I've been thinking about this.
And what that saying, opens up for us.
Many of us have ourselves fought the church's, Heavenly attachment, whether that be in demanding recognition, and place as women seeking acknowledgement and acceptance and participation as people who are gay and lesbian or four simple acceptance, because we're different from the narrowly drawn Norms of Western traditions.
We would like the church to be more focused on what is good for people and their lives of mutual care and concern rather than on being right. So we can please a god up there up in heaven and get to heaven eventually ourselves. Of course, if we, the church can shift our gaze and focus our minds from the concerns of heaven, and The God Who inhabits that place.
Up there then we will see the whole earth here that needs our loving attention and our concern.
Church leaders and theologians can take a lead in this and all of us can do our part. It's simple really. All it requires us for us to remember who we are Earth creatures and to live with dignity and graciousness and with gentleness to towards the Earth because we belong here, this is our place.
In other words, live holding in Focus, the integrity and the interdependence of the earth and all its creatures of, which We Are One.
That way we can make the Isaiah dream, our dream, and choose to live it into being making choices that will shape our lives and our communities to make it all possible.
Last week, as I noted, we focused on the idea of creation and recognized that it is. We human beings that created that word that shaped its meaning and that has shaped our understanding of the earth and it's becoming We are the ones who've chosen how to live in that Earth. We're the ones that have set the boundaries to our reality and to our dreams.
What's more. We thought we had it all under control because of this and that our inventiveness and our capacity to manage things and to solve problems would see that everything would be. All right we would be able to fix anything that got broken or God would But based on our own sense of importance and our own sense of our management skills. I don't think it's too much of a leap to use the challenging and provocative term coined for humans by Yuval, Noah her her RI and that is to recognize we've come to think of ourselves as homo Deus.
While we might like the sound of that, it's not good enough. In this time of climate change and ecological challenge. The Earth in all its parts is not manageable or controllable by our human Endeavors though. We have tried very, very hard as homo dais to do just that imagining ourselves to be over and apart from the Earth, to be Transcendent to it and with sufficient controlling and of and inventive powers to fix anything that gets out of kilter The youth. However, in its fullness and unpredictability is still surprising us with her responses to our human growth, to our development, and to our excesses.
it is clear today that are scientists and theologians and intellectuals of every shade have their work cut out to enable us simply to make good the impact of our excesses and our carelessness, and our Christian of the world fixation, The new Reformation that I'm seeking for the church's one. That prioritises the whole household of God, the oil costs.
the ecology and the economics of being one family in this earth home, This time the Reformation against the background of digital technology and virtual reality will embrace the Earth, and all its sentient creatures, and vegetation, rivers, and seas mountains, along with the human beings.
The psychological Reformation includes the systems that we humans have shaped to enable us to live together. Our economic structures for the distribution of wealth, as well as how we provide for access to education Healthcare and for participation in decision-making.
Theologian selling macfay grow to book and many years ago in which she explored ways of thinking about God. And I mentioned it, briefly. Last week, it was called models of God and was used in theological colleges around the world. As a bold, new offering back in the late 1980s in it, she made the shocking at the time suggestion that we think about the whole earth from its most minut.
Quacks. And nanoparticles to the swirling gases of its atmosphere as the body of God.
And this God was still in the Act of Creation. This God was still be coming along with us humans.
So we're not breaking new ground at all. When we talked about all of this.
Work on a radical rethink of our theology has been going on for quite some time.
I enjoy that way of thinking this way of thinking about God, God fully immersed in the earth as we are. It's so hopeful and creative and I'm part of it. And nothing of me will ever be lost will be on the love of this life. Giving God this actively creating God.
But here's the rub.
Will I choose to be open and positive about this ongoing creative activity of God about the Earth, surprising capacities as it shifts and changes or will I try to hold it to the status quo, try to contain and manage things. So as to maintain what we've come to know as normal and desirable.
Will I choose to protect me and mine by accumulating goods and wealth, for me and limiting your access will I hold to my personal security and lifestyle and disregard the rest of you will greed, not need and competition for resources. Continue to shape our relationships as they have come to do.
These are very important questions for me to ask myself because how I choose to live has implications for you as well.
It has implications for our neighbors at the mission.
As well as those who occupy, the beehive.
My faith insists. That the choices I make about my own life. Should be available to you, too.
To those people sleeping on the street as well.
So, how I choose to live makes plain what I value and what I desire. And as a consequence, what I want for you and for them too.
In all of this. As you can we can be limited by what we've been taught by the boundaries set out for us by the church and Society in the past by our culture of consumerism or we can dare to look Beyond this, boundary toward a different way of being a different way of living. And it seems to me some of that different way can be found in the stories of the first testament. And in the story, About Jesus and his teachings.
I'm wanting to suggest that a different way can be found in the wisdom of available to to us in the stories and myths of our past stories such as that in the vision in that Isaiah reading. We heard this morning coming to us from Two and a Half thousand more 2500 years ago. And even from the myths of ancient Greece, with warnings of human self-aggrandizement, And the importance of knowing our self and our place. So the balance can be kept between life and death work and Leisure enough and too little between humans and the Gods.
When we forget, we are humans emerging from the substances of the earth when we forget we are part of it all the molecules, the minerals and the energies.
And instead desire for ourselves the immortality of the Gods in Heavenly places, beyond the confines of Earth, then everything gets out of balance and salvation retreats.
And we forget God breathed life into our nostrils.
Remembering how weather that we are created by the substances of the earth and that our Christian tradition in our Christian tradition, the Earth is infused with godness in which we live and move and have our being to quote the Theologian. Paul as recorded in our scriptures to know is to know that God is intimately engaged with our being with our living and Talbot coming.
Remembering and retelling. This wisdom helps us to respect our Earth home to acknowledge the mutuality of our creative capacities and the need for ongoing mutuality of care between humans and the Earth.
It is to know the life of our creating God.
Still is walking the Earth and proclaiming it is good.