Season of Creation 4 – Sept 23, 2018 – Our Journey Home

Title:Season of Creation 4 – Sept 23, 2018 – Our Journey Home

 Season of Creation 4, Year B, Sept. 23, 2018 (full size gallery)

Already we are at the 4th Sunday of the Season of Creation. A day full of surprises. One surprise is that the rain appeared after a beautiful Saturday. Considering the amount of recent rain it wasn’t a surprise. The real surprise is that attendance was significantly larger at 45! Next, Felicia brought her newly born son to church. We had flowers on the altar for him. Several lined up after the service to hold him. Yet another surprise was the Ron Okrasinski, retired rector at St. Mary’s, assisted Catherine. He has come frequently to St. Peter’s and wanted to pitch in. Finally, Dave and Gibby brought tomatoes to distribute, which were immensely popular.

We celebrated the birthday of Robert Bryan. It was Robert who provide the seed idea in the sermon. Robert also helped install the rain barrel which had had quite a workout this year.

We had a new altar cover from Guatemala with butterflies which fit in with the sermon which used the monarch butterfly to represent the change of seasons and also patience in waiting on the Lord. There is concern these butterflies may be a victim of deforestation since it winters in special fir trees in Mexico.

The lessons this week extends to the future, particularly in the Epistle and Gospel. The Old Testament and Psalm describe life as it is now. The lectionary for Season of Creation 4 is here

In God’s time, all creation will be gloriously healed and completed. Time extends beyond the present. Living in trust and in hope that God’s time will bring the raising up of things cast down, the old will being made new, and all of creation being brought to perfection, frees us to live in harmoniously in right relationship with God, with one another and with creation itself. The lectionary calls this the plan of salvation

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 is 14 pairs of contrasting activities as examples of how life is comprised of various seasons. In this list, we see many contrasts in the basic rhythms of life. We all have times of happiness, times of sorrow, times of toil and perseverance, and times of rest. The truth that underlies all of these statements is that God is in control: He’s the author of life, He directs the seasons, He establishes kingdoms and destroys powers, and everything that occurs happens in His time. Through every event and season of life you can enjoy peace because God is in control. We need to rely on His wisdom, His timing, and His goodness

Psalm 126 celebrated the return of exiles to Jerusalem, and asking for God’s grace as they seek to rebuild their lives and their homeland. They are asking for restoration of their fortunes with tears and weeping leading to laughter and joy which is used 3 times.

Romans 8:14-25 looks at the future. Here Paul wrestles with what it means to be a follower of Jesus. What he discovers is not a “mindset” as such, but rather a new mode of being. One does not merely follow, but rather becomes “a son, a daughter, a child” of the living God.

The “sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory about to be revealed to us.” We are children of God and so too our heirs. The way of God is to include, bless, love and build up; the way of the world is to divide, separate, and condemn

Paul reminds his readers that God has a future program that its aspects include not only the salvation of people but also the creation as a whole. Now we are recipients of spiritual blessings (Ephesians 1:3) and in the future we will share with Christ in all the riches of the kingdom of God (John 17:24)

Christians are “joint heirs with Christ,” sharing in Christ’s passion and resurrection and looking forward to sharing in his glorification. And we wait with patience for it! Now we are recipients of spiritual blessings (Ephesians 1:3) and in the future we will share with Christ in all the riches of the kingdom of God (John 17:24)

John 16:16-24 also looks ahead to his death and resurrection in Holy Week.
It is a part of his farewell discourse to his disciples. When Jesus was crucified, the disciples would weep and lament, while Jesus’ enemies would rejoice.

But after the disciples saw the risen Lord, their sorrow would be turned to lasting joy, which no one could take from them. There is the promise here of Jesus resurrection, return and that he will answer their prayers. “So you have pain now; but I will see you again.”

“The promise it if you ask anything of the Father in my name, he will give it to you.. so your joy may be complete.” It may related to the need to tell Jesus story accurately including starting new communities. These first disciples’ prayers were answered, positively and powerfully.

The sermon was based in the change on the seasons as a time of longing, hope and return.

“Part of being human is that we long for and hope for what is yet to be.

“In every season, somewhere deep within, the seed of longing for the next season begins to stir, and then to grow, and we become restless with the waiting.

“And ironically, what we long for is rooted in what we have already known. The butterfly longs for what its family has already known, that one fir tree.

“We long for the new creation when all is made whole, complete, contained, safe. All of us, no matter how our lives have gone, came from the life giving safety of our mother’s wombs. And somewhere deep down inside, it is to that safety and security that we all long to return…”

“But when we lost our way, so did the rest of creation. But although we have lost our way, we have never lost our longing, and neither has creation.

“And in that longing for the new creation lies our hope, and the hope of the whole creation.

“Creation is also on a journey, constantly in a process of being made new.

“As our collect puts it, “Things which were cast down are being raised up, and things which had grown old are being made new, and all things are being brought to their perfection by him through whom all things were made, Jesus Christ our Lord.”

“The first job God gave to us human beings at the beginning of our story was to till and to tend the earth. So as we make our own journeys to our resting place in God, God expects us to care for our earthy, earthly home because we are journeying along with it to the final new creation for which we all long. ”

“But hopefully, the work that people have begun to stop the destruction of the fir trees, and the intentional planting of gardens with flowers and plants that the monarchs need for food on their journeys home will in the end help to preserve this miraculous piece of God’s creation.

“This is our season of waiting.

“In birth and death, springtime and harvest, weeping and laughing, mourning and dancing, we are waiting on God.

“And while we wait, we undertake our journeys within this world, hoping for the day when we will reach that place that the generations before us have reached—the presence of God, our Garden of Eden.”

“But as we journey, we must remember and rejoice in the fact that God has granted us the miraculous privilege of a sojourn in the midst of God’s intricate, magnificent creation.

“For everything there is a season.

“So may we rejoice as the seasons turn, one to another, and as the days that seem long turn into the years that fly by.

“And may we remember that we too are traveling through the beauties of this earth toward our own true home, Jesus. “