Javan Reid, Josephine Wallace, Nathaniel Timoteo
19 April 2015, Earth Day Sunday
I John 3:3,4
Javan Reid: Happy Birthday Gaia!
Gaia is the Greek word for Earth Goddess or Mother Earth—The understanding that Gaia means oneness or wholeness. To see all of Earth as Gaia is to understand that all organisms are related: Related as KIN and to see all is relationally created. To imagine Earth as an organism, which is created through relations involves all of us organisms in creative activity.
We all contribute to the lives of all others. We receive our life from the contributions of others. This is the organic WEB of life. Gaia is the relations of the web. Gaia is our home. The Earth lives in us and we live in Mother Earth. (As mystic Meister Eckhart said in the 1300’s, “God is in all and all is in God”.) We are created by our relations and through our relations we create others. All organisms do this. We are all in this together.
Gaia/Mother Earth is our home. This means we are not EXTERNAL to the Earth and the Earth is not EXTERNAL to us. There are no external costs. (No matter what narrow-minded one-dimensional economists promote.) All costs are borne INTERNALLY, and all creative contributions are enjoyed INTERNALLY.
Everything is relations and all relations are related. To paraphrase Chief Seattle—All of the Earth is our KIN. We are related to all of Earth. Everything we do matters. We celebrate this beautiful responsibility on Earth Day and every day.
Seeing the Earth rise over the Moon changed our consciousness forever. We became totally aware. Gaia/Mother Earth is our home and the home of all creatures. All that saw the Earth rise over the moon that moon day got it. On that ‘first’ moon day we saw clearly: We are all responsible for taking care of our EARTH HOME. Earth ethics is all inclusive. We are responsible for the relations we create.
See what love our creator has given us, that we should be called children of God; and that is what we are….we are God’s children now; what we will be has not yet been revealed. What we do know is this: when it is revealed, we will be like Christ for we will see Christ—the true human being.
We understand where we are and where we have come from. We do not yet know who we will be. But we do know that it will be revealed to us through our relations with God—the inclusive LOVE/ENERGY FIELD. When and as the true human being is revealed we see that we are related and KIN.
We were in Portland two weeks age talking with our cousin Lauren. We said that we were worried about the future because of the climate change and that we did not know what our children and grandchildren would do. Lauren turned to us and smiled and said, “Yes, it will be more wonderful than we can imagine.”
The Divine will be revealed through the relations our children and grandchildren create as the future unfolds in God’s embrace! Home is here!
Josephine Wallace: This Sacred Ground
I’m sure most of you have heard the quote “With great power comes great responsibility.” It has become a very popular quote and dare I say maybe even overused. But I believe it speaks the simple and powerful truth that is ever so relevant today regarding our actions towards our earth.
I just recently was learning the basic history of Earth Day and it was first put into place in order to mark the beginning of an environmental movement. I have always experienced Earth Day as a celebration of this beautiful place. However, at this point in time I believe that Earth Day should really be brought back to what it was originally about: to try and teach people to love this earth that we are so lucky to inhabit.
Humanity is a very powerful race and as Matthew Fox put so perfectly in his book Creation Spirituality, “The human became a gift and also a menace for its powers of creativity were unique in their potential for destruction or healing. How would humans use these gifts?” Those words spoke to me the first time I read them because I felt like Fox captured something there. We are blessed with thought and the decisions that we can make that affect so many.
Earth is not in any way owned by us, yet its future and well being rest in our hands. I find this very interesting. I believe it just must be one of those paradoxical realities that seem so frequent in the spiritual world. And yes, to me the issue of how we treat the earth is spiritual.
It seems to me that caring deeply for our earth is not commonly recognized as part of a Christian life and I do not know why. Are we not blessed by God to have this earth? Should we not at the bare minimum return the favor by respecting it? It is our responsibility, for it is a gift. In Genesis 1:28-31 it reads, “God blessed them, and God said to them, ‘Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the air and over every living thing that moves upon the earth.’ God said, ‘See, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit; you shall have them for food. And to every beast of the earth, and to every bird of the air, and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food.’”
Now regardless of whether you read this literally word-for-word or as one giant metaphor or anything in between, there is one clear truth: We have been given a gift. The earth was not originally ours; this is God’s earth. We have been blessed with the privileges we have.
The responsibility that humanity has is immense but I believe we should love the earth with the same profound love that God held for us when God made our earth and offered it to us to nurture.
I do not have it sorted out in my head exactly what it means to be a Christian, but there are some things I believe. I believe that we must care about a world outside ourselves. I believe that when the sacred moments arise and we feel in touch with the Great Divine, we see that God and us are really in the same world. And I think in those moments we are reminded that we do not own anything, though in our current state we have power. When we can see that this world is not our own, we should live to that by living life as if we are just spending some time on this earth because is that not what we are doing? As we spend our lives here we are to make sure the future generations can spend their lives in the same magnificent world. This is personal for me. Being young and realizing more and more what exactly is taking place here, is at times frightening. Am I to witness the earth wither and loose its elegance? That idea in itself is so large I think it tends to stay out of my conscience.
For me personally and for what I think to be the Christian Life, this is not about figuring out whether a catastrophe is in our somewhat near future and then recycling or not, depending on “how bad it will be” and “in how many decades it will happen.” Loving the earth should be a natural act that we do because it is both responsible and spiritual. This is an issue of power and what that really is, and how we are not to be consumed by it. For me personally, most importantly, this is an issue of love and respect; for truly, this is sacred ground.
Nathaniel Timoteo: Earth Day Sermon
Robert Louis Stevenson, a European writer who traveled to the Pacific Ocean in the 1800’s, had fallen in love with the scenery, natural beauty, and the tranquility of the Pacific islands and the Samoan people, and came to describe its islands as “rich, with lush greenery mountains and with vast blue ocean and the tranquility of its inhabitant environment.” Other novelists described it as the “Pearl of the Pacific” or the “Last Paradise” of the creation, with the Samoan people sharing its cultured life values of cooperation, participation, reciprocity, and partnership in everyday life affairs. They shared responsibilities and served one another in the spirit of love. This beauty and its life of participation in its social structure is fading away because of the influences of colonialism and imperialism.
Our elder generations have dreamed of wanting to recapture the golden years and its past; its beauty and peaceful simple lifestyle that was there from the beginning. But we cannot turn the clock back; for we cannot get back the glory days and its beauty; but we can learn from our past experiences. We can learn from our mistakes and try to move forward. Our failures and our weaknessess can teach us new ways as to how to move forward. But the question that comes to my mind is this: “Is there any future hope for this planet or this creation? With natural disasters, like tsunami, earthquake, hunger and death; the evil of moral choices that leads to terrorist and life threatening, abusing of children and misuse of power, even the abusing of the creation.
Is there a future? Can we reconcile this world and make a better world and better future, for future generations to come? Such provocative questions can stir us up to look for answers.
But we don’t have to look far, for the Epistle writer John provides us with the answer to this question. John says “Beloved, we are God’s children now, what we will be has not been revealed.”
The Apostle Paul says, in his letter to the Romans, chapter 8, verses 19 & 22, “For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the children of God…For we know the whole creation has been groaning in labor pains until…We are waiting for the revealing of His son for the redemption of this groaning creation.” We wait in patience and in faith that God will break through in human history to renew the whole creation; to renew and reconcile the whole of the creation through Him. When and what time is the question that elder John couldn’t give us. However, he only gives us the hope that when we see him, we will see him face to face.
We know from the Old Testament that no one can see God and still live. For Paul and even John, says we are dimly seeing God. We cannot see him fully, but we hope when he reveals himself, then the veil, which covers our face will be removed…and we will be able to see him face to face.
So brethren the message today is don’t lose hope. Have hope in the Resurrection Christ. When he is made known unto us, then we will be able to rise up like eagles. Let us wait and hope that he will soon be revealed to us in this life. Amen.