Rev. Rosemary Webb
6th October 2019
Let Us Get Our Priorities Right

And Jesus said to them ‘Therefore I tell You , do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink, or about your body; what you will wear.’ What do you think Jesus’ message was when he said this – do you think he meant, do as you please – you can’t get something like that wrong, as long as you don’t starve – eat and drink what you please. Or did he?

No, Jesus was teaching the crowd that whether we have enough clothes to wear or food and drink isn’t the most important thing in our lives. Of course, Jesus never wants anyone to be starving or without clothing but he is trying to teach that the most important thing in our lives is to believe in God, listen to his voice and follow in his footsteps, working for the heavenly kingdom.

During our lives we must be preparing ourselves for the moment we meet Jesus when our earthly life is over. Provided we live the life God sets out for us we have nothing to worry about nothing to fear, for God will provide for us a place in his heavenly kingdom.

Of course, that doesn’t mean we can lie around all day doing nothing. Expect everything to just land at out feet. Look at the birds, we see them flying around, the have to seek out the food they want, God doesn’t provide the food and water they drink, he doesn’t go round putting food into each nest, no God expect the birds to go out and look among the hedgerows looking for the berries and seeds that they need. Even in the coldest weather, they have to search for the berries, find the unfrozen water. God has produced it for them but they have to find it. This applies to humans as well, seek and ye shall find look it shall come unto you.

Jesus told the crowd that non-believers may expect everything to be theirs without trying but Christians understand the word of the Lord. As Christians we need to show our love for God by helping people to understand their spirituality, their relationship with God, see their place in creation. We must teach the role each of us has in the world, how we are the custodians of the future of our world. By equating our faith with life situations, we can, and we must, encourage environmental debate. When you look at the number of Christian leaders there are throughout the world isn’t it amazing that it has taken a sixteen-year-old girl from Sweden to make the world listen. But, of course, we do say that God moves in mysterious ways.

Perhaps our faith in God’s promise that ‘this is a world without end, has made us complacent, but there was a world without human life for a long time.

What do we think of when we hear the word creation? Do we think of the book of Genesis, the moon and the stars, prehistoric times. Or do we look outside, look at ourselves and think this is creation? For I believe we are still living in creation, we are as much creation as Adam and Eve. Creation is ongoing it isn’t some haphazard event but an organised, coherent, identifiable, structure. It isn’t just animals and plants which become extinct and are replaced , it is galaxies, living organisms, and they are all created for a purpose and dependent on something else.

We cannot escape the fact that it is also us, you and I. Not only are we a part of creation we have a duty to protect it. We know where we are going wrong, what we should be doing as opposed what we are doing, or perhaps even more importantly what we want to do. Far too many people think they must be superior to their neighbour – it is obvious to anyone that they are more clever, good looking, and if that is the case, they must obviously deserve to be richer, it must be their right, they can be greedy. No one can tell them what they can or cannot do.

But throughout the Bible Jesus reminds us that the first will be last and the last will be first. In God’s eyes no one is special, we must share resources, not waste water or food but help each other.

We Christians must remember we are his body here on earth now, we must let our faith govern our hearts and head, but also, we must help all people to take ownership of creation, encourage people to look at its beauty, discover the peace it offers.

In the Epistle Paul thinks of Timothy as his son. At the beginning of the letter, he addresses it to Timothy, my true child in the faith. The words he writes in this letter are very much as parents would use today to their teenage children. One of my favourite phrases used to be ‘money doesn’t grow on trees’. Today for so many young people Those little plastic cards seem to offer so much for nothing, but as Paul said ‘You brought nothing into this world, and you can’t take anything out.’ but however much society knows it, it is unwilling to accept it. Life may seem to have altered scientifically and technically but in so many ways it is the same, greed and envy still cause so many of the world’s problems today.

As some of you know Peter and I are recently back from a cruise along the Danube to the Black Sea. Such beautiful scenery reminding us of God’s creation, which in places looked like it probably did two thousand years ago. Or it did until we reached the point in the Delta where we left our ship and boarded a coach to cross the small piece of land separating us from the Black Sea. Then like so many river deltas, river banks we came face to face with societies disregard for creation, large and small plastic bags, rotting food, old clothes you name it, it was there. It really was so sad to see. For all we have learned rather than protecting the environment we are killing it.

On the sixth day God looked around at all that he had made, and he was pleased, it was very good, the world was ready, and Adam and Eve came and they disobeyed God We know that God loves all his creation not just us his children, he loves the jungle creatures, the whales and the tadpoles, the bees and the ants, trees and flowers, God loves all that he has created.

We are the Rainbow
Scored across the thundercloud
We are the tree of life
And the desert around.
We are the cause.
We are the seed and the sea
We are the future
We always have been. Say it out loud
This is our birth and our breaking
This is the choice we are making.