Sermon for the fourth Sunday on Easter Also known as Earth Day or Good Shepherd Sunday

God created the world and said it is good; it is very good. (Genesis 1:31)
In a sermon by The Revd. Dr. Rachel Mash, who is the environmental coordinator for the Anglican Church of Southern Africa. Pointing out that the opposite of love is not hate, but apathy. She went on to say; the planet is warming at disastrous speed, our oceans are full of plastic. The theme this year Earth Day is “plastic pollution. Diego delights in Earth Day. Just Google Earth Day San Diego 2018 and you will find a full page of links to activities.

This being Good Shepherd Sunday we are called upon to consider our love for Earth, community, and church family. John is blunt, “We know love by this, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our life’s. “ Little children, let us love, not in word or speech, but in truth and action.” Christ said I lay down my life for the sheep; this act of self-giving love is to show all the love of God. This should be an example for us. But how are we to lay down our lives? There are the works of mercy.

1. To feed the hungry
2. To give water to the thirsty
3. To clothe the naked
4. To shelter the homeless
5. To visit the sick to visit the imprisoned, or ransom the captive
6. To bury the dead.

All of these acts are part of following the Good Shepherd. The Good Shepard leads us to love. The Greek word Koinonia is a word used to define a Christian community. A fellowship of believers who share in an intimate spirituality, Koinonia is a community with each other and with their Lord.

In a broader sense Koinonia is the care of the wider community the giving and sharing of Gods love. We do an outstanding job at that in this community and we should be proud of this, but we should also be aware of how fragile life and community are. Working each day to show Gods love and caring for Gods creation. Caring for community follows.
I would like to read a short part from a book I read this past week called “Arctic Dreams” by Barry Lopez
“The mind, full of curiosity and analysis, disassembles a landscape and then reassembles the pieces— the nod of a flower, the color of the night sky, the murmur of an animal— trying to fathom its geography. At the same time the mind is trying to find its place within the land, to discover a way to dispel its own sense of estrangement.”

This landscape can be our Earth or our community. And I try to dispel my own sense of estrangement in trying to discern my role in Gods creation and community. Please join me in discerning your role in the care of the Earth and our community. The resurrection means a new Creation-restored humanity living on a restored Earth. Let us commit ourselves to becoming healers of Earth and community.

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