First Sunday after Pentecost – May 26, 2024

Posted on May 29, 2024, Pastor: Pastor Lara Forbes

Sermons are preached within the context of a particular worship service, and are most meaningful when experienced in that way. We encourage you to view or listen to the entire worship service. 

May 26, 2024

First Sunday after Pentecost

Genesis 1:1 — 2:4a

Worship Service Video Sermon Video Sermon  Audio

Sermon Text:

Grace to you and peace from God, our Creator, and from our Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.

When we consider creation, and the wonders of the universe and our planet, there are plenty of statistics to make us pause for thought. For example: the angle of the Earth is 23 degrees. That precise angle is what makes our seasons possible. If the crust of the earth were 10 feet thicker than it is, there would be no oxygen and, therefore, no animal life. If the oceans were a few feet deeper, all of the oxygen and carbon dioxide would have been absorbed and no plant life would exist.

The nine major planets in our solar system move around the sun in exact precision. And our sun is only one of 100 billion stars in the Milky Way galaxy. With technological advances in telescopes, more galaxies in the universe are being discovered almost daily.

Scientists have all sorts of algorithms and equations to calculate what goes on beyond what we can see in the skies. But even with all that science, we owe it to ourselves to let the wonders of God boggle our mind sometimes.

The first creation story in Genesis gives us a sense of wonder about God and creation. The way it presents this event, it gives us the sense that when God creates, God is creating the way God wishes things to be. So from the beginning, not only are things are good, but there’s also invitation and relationship between God and the created order.

God separates day from night, and pulls the water into its appropriate places and gathers it together, creating space for life to appear. Then God invites plants and animals and sea creatures to come forth and creation responds. The invitation and relationship are there even before humans are created.

As this story tells us how God interacts with creation, it also tells us how we ought to be interacting with creation as beings created in God’s image. Because when God declared that all of creation was, indeed, very good, it was so because of the relationship that existed within the created order.

And God made that declaration with the expectation that humans would continue the relationship by caring for that which God had created. We know that hasn’t happened. Over time, in many cultures including our own, the relationship between God and creation has been blurred, and sometimes people have tried to erase it altogether.

Which is why our planet is in the state that it’s in.

As with most things, there are different perspectives on climate change and the human-caused damage to our planet. Thankfully, more and more people are shouting that we need to make different decisions and they’re advocating for change.

But there are still some who think that it’s a hoax. And still others say, “Who cares? When Jesus comes back it won’t matter because he’s going to take us away from all of this.” Yes, there are people who believe that.

Wherever you happen to be within that spectrum, humans were created in God’s image. We were created in relationship and to be in relationship – specifically, in relationship with creation. So, when we ask “why” we should care for creation, that relationship is our answer. Because that’s ultimately what God created us to care for.

But God didn’t just put humans in charge and then leave. Throughout scripture we are told that God has always sought to be in relationship with humanity. Let me say that again – the creator of the universe has always wanted to be in relationship with us. And not from some far-off place. God has always wanted to be with us – where we live. So much so that God came to us as Jesus.

And when Jesus comes back, it will be in the same way as he came the first time – from among us. To be with us here, not to take us away from the world God created. And as we wait for that day, we remember that God is continually at work in our world and our lives creating, renewing, and restoring.

Keeping that in mind shapes the way we live our lives – the decisions we make and how they impact things not only now, but in the future. Because when we remember God’s relationship with us, we remember that each person bears the image of God.

And when we hold that together with the fact that we’re made out of the same stuff as the rest of creation, our relationship expands beyond what we experience here on Earth and reminds us that we’re part of something bigger than ourselves.

And at a time when we’re bombarded with information and threats about what could happen to our planet if we don’t change the way we live, keeping that relationship at the forefront gives us hope not only for life now but also for the future. Because making changes, even baby-step changes, strengthens that relationship across generations and helps it grow.

When God declared that all of creation was, indeed, very good, it was so because of the relationship that existed within the created order. We are part of that – God created us as part of that. We are always connected to God, to creation, and to one another.

Remembering that connection between God and us and the rest of the created order can sometimes make us feel vulnerable. But it also gives us something to hold onto, because it’s what God created us to care for. Thanks be to God! Amen.