Friday, February 18, 2011

A Creation Care Sunday Devotional

NOTE: This devotional was written to be presented during an upcoming Creation Care Sunday service in Glen Ellyn, Illinois, where my church's Earthlings group will be distributing free battery recycling containers and accepting donations for reusable bags, rain barrels, bee houses, and other environmentally-focused projects.

Good morning, everyone.

This morning, I'd like to share a few words about Creation Care, and why it's important to me. Let me start off by sharing that devotions don't come easy to me. You see, my faith is an intensely personal, intimate part of who I am. Such feelings have always made it challenging for me to evangelize as scripture calls us to do… Which is perhaps why I became active in church service.

Starting with my ordination as a deacon of First Presbyterian Church of Tracy, California many years ago, I've never felt the same discomfort evangelizing through service versus word. I guess I've always simply appreciated how blessed I've been to be offered the opportunity to serve others and make a difference, in small but important ways, a blessing received through the grace of my various church families. Whether delivering Thanksgiving baskets to the underprivileged of Tracy, California, or serving those in need at Hessed House in Aurora alongside fellow members of Knox Presbyterian Church of Naperville, such opportunities have reinforced the importance of my church families both to me personally, as well as to our greater communities at large.

As members of First Presbyterian Church of Glen Ellyn, we're blessed with a wealth of service opportunities. From assisting with worship to helping staff our PADS shelter, or participating in our church's many other ministries and missions, our church family offers each and every one of us opportunities to serve God, our congregation, and our community in ways that best suit who we are as individuals, or where we are in our own personal, spiritual journeys. One particular opportunity I'd like to share with you all today, on this Creation Sunday, is that of Creation Care.

To me, Creation Care is very similar to serving my fellow humanity. For service to our world is service to all, as we each share this wonderful gift our creator has bestowed upon us, this Earth. And, as we all share the many blessings of our creators gift, from the planet's natural beauty to the bounty of it's harvests, so too do we share the responsibility of it's stewardship. Practically every decision we make on a daily basis impacts the world God's gifted to us, from the transportation choices we make to the things we buy, how we chose to dispose of life's castoffs to how we help nurture our natural surroundings. All these things and more have a significant impact on the world we share and the lives of those who follow.

With that, I would like to personally invite each and everyone in attendance today to accept the heartfelt invitation of the Earthlings of First Presbyterian Church of Glen Ellyn to participate in this, our congregation's Creation Sunday. As you leave today's service, you'll find a number of tables set up in the Welcome Center with fun and informational items (some of which are FREE) that you and your families can use to thank God for the many wonders that surround us.

In the words of John Calvin, “...let everyone regard himself as the steward of God in all things which he possesses. Then he will neither conduct himself dissolutely, nor corrupt by abuse those things which God requires to be preserved. …The creation is quite like a spacious and splendid house, provided and filled with the most exquisite and the most abundant furnishings. Everything in it tells us of God.” Let us remember those words and our shared role as creation's stewards as we exit the doors of our church today and step out into the grandeur that is, perhaps, God's greatest gift... A gift that both enables and encompasses life itself.

Thank you.

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