SEPTEMBER 22, 2019

Preaching Pastor:  Rev. Dave Carpenter


Sermon Title:  “The Dorian Effect”

Scripture:  Psalm 148 & John 3: 16


Would it be fair to say that all but the hardest core deniers are quickly waking up to the fact that we are literally destroying God’s creation?  Our world is fast becoming dirty and ugly as the polar ice caps melt, species rapidly disappear, deserts grow, forests burn and storms get stronger.  Our rivers are polluted, our oceans have become dumping grounds, toxic chemicals fill our soil, trash piles up on the edges of our cities and people actually die on bad air days.  It seems like every year we break the previous year’s record for the hottest year on record.  Perhaps most heart breaking is how, on both sides of the political aisle, the arguments are all made from a completely selfish, utilitarian, self-centered point of view.  Is our pillaging of God’s creation going to hurt us now or hurt us later?  Will it effect us or just our children?  Is it worth giving up our burger, cashmere sweater or fossil fuels today?  It’s as if we’ve already all agreed, as the foundation of our argument, that the only reason to care is “What’s in it for me?”  When God commanded us to take dominion over God’s creation, God did not mean to use, abuse, pillage and destroy God’s masterpiece for our own satisfaction, but to tend, care for and steward God’s creation, of which we are a part.  Exponentially severe floods, fires, tsunamis, hurricanes, poisoned water and diminishing food supplies is not the REASON to care for God’s creation, only a devastating BY-PRODUCT of us ignoring our sacred responsibility to be curators of it.  Perhaps the first step toward a better approach on the environment starts by taking ourselves, and our own interest, out of the equation.  Maybe it’s time to ask that question we so often ask at BPC, “How were we CREATED to live?  How does God INTEND for us to understand ourselves and our place in the world?  How are we meant to treat ourselves, one another and this planet, God’s creation, that we share?”
READ:  Psalm 148 & John 3:16

1)      If the sun, moon, forests, mountains, rivers, birds, cattle, whales were all created, by God, to sing God’s praises, to be part of God’s celestial chorus, what does it mean when we allow the members of God’s choir to be abused destroyed, contaminated or to go extinct?  In what ways is this about so much more than just what’s good for us?

2)      John 3:16, “For God so loved the world….” Is one of the most famous and oft quoted verses in the Bible.  What does it say about us that we so quickly, without even noticing, typically interpret “world” to mean “we human beings”?  How would that verse completely change, in our mind, if we knew that the Greek word used for “World” in this verse is actually the word, “Cosmos”?

3)      The cover article of this week’s “Time Magazine” takes a fascinating perspective, looking back on what the world could look like and what would have needed to change, for us to be in a better place by 2050.  What do you think needs to change and happen for us to begin turning this trend around?

4)      On Wednesday, our family went to hear Caroline Kennedy’s daughter, Tatiana, talk about her new book on the environment.  In it she does not give many suggestions as to what one individual can do in their home, or personal habits, to conserve the environment.  She argued the only thing that will make a REAL difference is for those who care to organize, band together, vote & campaign and to change laws and policy in order to change global habits.  Do you agree?  What can one person do?  What would God have us do?

Rev. Dave Carpenter, Pastor
Rev. Lora East,
Associate Pastor