|Epiphany, Year A||January 6, 2020||The Epiphany, Year A||Matthew 2:1-12|
|Christmas 2, Year A||January 5, 2020||Christmas II, Year A||Matthew 2:13-15, 19-23; Ephesians 1:3-6,15-19a; Psalm 84|
|Christmas Eve, Year A||December 24, 2019||The Eve of the Nativity||Luke 2:14|
|Advent 3, Year A||December 15, 2019||Advent 3, Year A||Isaiah 35:1-10|
|Advent 2, Year A – the Rev. Deacon Carey Connors||December 8, 2019||Advent 2, Year A||Matthew 3:1-12|
|Advent 1, Year A||December 1, 2019||First Sunday of Advent, Year A||Isaiah 2:1-5, Psalm 122, Romans 13:11-14, Matthew 24:36-44|
|Last Pentecost, Year C||November 24, 2019||Last Pentecost, Christ the King||Luke 23:33-43|
|Pentecost 23, Year C||November 17, 2019||Pentecost 23, Year C, Proper 28||Luke 21:5-19|
|Pentecost 22, Year C||November 10, 2019||Pentecost 22, Proper 27, Year C||Job 19:23-27a, Luke 20:38|
|All Saints, Year C||November 3, 2019||All Saints’ Sunday, Year C 2019||Luke 6:20-31|
|Pentecost 20, Year C||October 27, 2019||Pentecost 2, Proper 25, Year C||2 Timothy 4:6-8|
|Pentecost 19, Year C||October 20, 2019||Nineteenth Sunday after Pentecost, Proper 24||Luke 18:1-8|
|Pentecost 18, Year C||October 13, 2019||Eighteenth Sunday after Pentecost, Year C||Psalm 111, Luke 17:11-19|
|Pentecost 17, Year C – Rev. Deacon Carey Connors||October 6, 2019||Seventeenth Sunday after Pentecost, Year C||2 Timothy 1:1-14,Luke 17:5-10|
|➤Season of Creation 5, Year C||September 29, 2019||Season of Creation 5, Year B||Proverbs 8:22-31, Ephesians 1:3-10, Luke 24:13-35|
Season of Creation 5, Year C
Sermon Date:September 29, 2019
Scripture: Proverbs 8:22-31, Ephesians 1:3-10, Luke 24:13-35
Liturgy Calendar: Season of Creation 5, Year B
“Road to Emmaus” – Tiffany (1912)
Connectedness is essential to life!
Last Thursday, in the journal Science, scientists published the latest evidence that connected wildlife habitats are one of the best ways to preserve biodiversity.
You can read the details about the report in the article by Ben Guarino in Friday’s The Washington Post on page A2, “Study: Connecting Habitats has long-lasting ecological benefits.”
These corridors are superhighways for plants and animals. Birds eat and spread seeds. Butterflies and bees follow the corridors and spread pollen.
The study, that has gone on over a period of eighteen years in the corridors that connect habitats, shows that in these connected corridors, plant extinctions were reduced by 2% annually and the colonization of new plant species shot up by 5 percent each year, with no sign of stopping.
Policies have already begun to promote these corridors.
“In 2016, the governors of six New England states and the premiers of the provinces in eastern Canada signed a resolution promoting ecological connectivity among their forests.”
“The 2018 Farm Bill expands support for corridors—such as prairie strips—in agricultural land.”
We people benefit from the corridors as well. Buffers that run along the rivers help to prevent pollution from getting into the water. Prairie strips prevent erosion and offer habitat to the insects that pollinate the crops. And urban greenways give space for nature enthusiasts to get out and enjoy the earth.
Connection is essential to life!
So here, at the end of the Season of Creation, we come back to the beginning, connecting the circle of our life together in God.
On the first Sunday of this Season of Creation, we began at the beginning.
The first book in the Bible, Genesis, starts off with these words. “In the beginning, when God created the heavens and the earth.”
And the Gospel according to John starts this way. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God.”
These words open the Gospel according to John.
So today, as this Season of Creation closes, we find ourselves back at the beginning once more.
The writer of Proverbs tells us that Wisdom, who we have come to know as the personification of Jesus, was there at the beginning.
“When there were no depths I, Jesus, was brought forth, when there were no springs abounding with water.”
And then Jesus joins in the act of creation at the beginning.
When God establishes the heavens, Jesus is there.
When God draws a circle on the face of the deep, Jesus is there.
When God makes firm the skies above, Jesus is there.
When God marks out the foundations of the earth,
Jesus is there beside God, like a master worker, and Jesus is God’s delight, rejoicing before God always, rejoicing in God’s inhabited world, and delighting in us, the human race.
God and Jesus rejoice in one another, in their connectedness. They rejoice in the connectedness with all of creation, and they rejoice in their connectedness with us.
And when we broke this connection with God, and scripture tells us that story as well, (we heard several of those passages last week)
God so longs to reconnect to us, that Jesus, the Son of Mary, comes and pitches his tent with us, lives on this earth, and rejoices in all of creation. Jesus dies as one of us. God resurrects Jesus from the dead and opens for us the way to eternal connectedness and joy with and in God through Jesus.
For God so loved us, John says, that God sent Jesus. We who believe in him are and will be connected to God forever, forever part of God’s eternal and eternally creative love.
The writer of Ephesians includes all of creation in what is drawn to God through Jesus as he writes that “with all wisdom and insight God has made known to us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure that he set forth in Christ, as a plan for the fullness of time, to gather up all things in God, things in heaven and things on earth.”
We, along with all of creation, are already and will be ever more deeply connected in that great Trinitarian dance of joy, rejoicing in God’s fullness—God has already blessed us as part of that fullness and will continue to connect us to that fullness more and more richly and completely as time passes.
The story that we’ve just heard from Luke’s gospel is a story about disconnection, connection and then reconnection with the whole.
On the day of the resurrection, two disciples are walking down the road, away from all the awful things that have happened in Jerusalem.
They are disconnected, stricken with grief, unable to piece together the shattering events that have occurred.
Jesus, the one that they had thought would save them, had been crucified, and now they’ve heard rumors of angels reporting that Jesus is alive. These rumors seem like nothing but fairy tales and wishful thinking to these two sad, depressed, and disconnected disciples.
And so when Jesus meets up with them and goes with them along the road, Jesus takes these disconnected disciples back to the beginning, to Moses and to the prophets.
Jesus connects all that has happened in Jerusalem to God’s story of God’s ongoing miraculous and creative and loving salvation that has been unfolding all along.
And so when the two disciples reach the village where they are going, they are feeling connected to this stranger. They invite him to come in and to stay with them, because the day is nearly over.
When Jesus takes the bread and blesses it and breaks it and gives it to them, they suddenly KNOW who he is. And at this point, I always get goosebumps—can you imagine what this experience must have been like?
Their hearts have already known that they are connected to this man, for they had felt their hearts burning within them even as Jesus was talking to them on the road, restoring their connection to God’s great story of love and salvation.
So even though it is almost night, they turn around, get back on the road, and go back to Jerusalem.
They seek out the eleven and their companions gathered together.
They reconnect with these companions they had walked away from earlier in the day.
And they hear that Jesus has appeared to Simon Peter.
And they tell their own story, which connects so perfectly with the other stories that the disciples are telling, that Jesus is indeed alive.
And I imagine that as each person’s joy bubbles up, they all become bound together in one great joy.
We feel joy when we come together in His name, connected with one another the great story of God’s love throughout scripture, and through our own love for God.
Jesus himself connects us with one another when we find him present in our midst as we break the bread and pour the wine and share it together, connected around God’s table, so that we can then go share God’s love with the world, working to reconnect what has been lost and disconnected.
And when we come together in God’s name to reconnect with creation itself, the creation that God calls good, the creation that God dwells within, the whole creation that God will gather in at the end, the insects, the birds, the creatures, the trees, the oceans and rivers and the earth itself,
God will rejoice as we work to reconnect all that we have broken and divided.
And we will find joy and rejoice ever more deeply and fully as God reconnects all of us in the fullness of time into God’s new creation– as it was in the beginning, and is now and ever will be, God’s world without end.
Resource: Guarino, Ben. “Study: Connecting habitats has long-lasting ecological benefits.” In The Washington Post, pg A2, Friday, September 27, 2019.