8th Day and the Environment

Mike Brown

August 12, 1012

Scriptures:
1 Kings19:4-8
Ps 34:1-8
Gospel: Jn 6:35,41-51S:
Eph 4: 25-5:2

1 Kings 19:4-8

19:4 But he himself went a day's journey into the wilderness, and came and sat down under a solitary broom tree. He asked that he might die: "It is enough; now, O LORD, take away my life, for I am no better than my ancestors."

19:5 Then he lay down under the broom tree and fell asleep. Suddenly an angel touched him and said to him, "Get up and eat."

19:6 He looked, and there at his head was a cake baked on hot stones, and a jar of water. He ate and drank, and lay down again.

19:7 The angel of the LORD came a second time, touched him, and said, "Get up and eat, otherwise the journey will be too much for you."

19:8 He got up, and ate and drank; then he went in the strength of that food forty days and forty nights to Horeb the mount of God.

1 Kings 19:4-8

4But he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness, and came and sat down under a solitary broom tree. He asked that he might die: “It is enough; now, O Lord, take away my life, for I am no better than my ancestors.” 5Then he lay down under the broom tree and fell asleep. Suddenly an angel touched him and said to him, “Get up and eat.” 6He looked, and there at his head was a cake baked on hot stones, and a jar of water. He ate and drank, and lay down again. 7The angel of the Lord came a second time, touched him, and said, “Get up and eat, otherwise the journey will be too much for you.” 8He got up, and ate and drank; then he went in the strength of that food forty days and forty nights to Horeb the mount of God.

Psalm 34:1-8

34:1 I will bless the LORD at all times; his praise shall continually be in my mouth.

34:2 My soul makes its boast in the LORD; let the humble hear and be glad.

34:3 O magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt his name together.

34:4 I sought the LORD, and he answered me, and delivered me from all my fears.

34:5 Look to him, and be radiant; so your faces shall never be ashamed.

34:6 This poor soul cried, and was heard by the LORD, and was saved from every trouble.

34:7 The angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear him, and delivers them.

34:8 O taste and see that the LORD is good; happy are those who take refuge in him.

Psalm 34

1I will bless the Lord at all times; his praise shall continually be in my mouth.

2My soul makes its boast in the Lord; let the humble hear and be glad.

3O magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt his name together.

4I sought the Lord, and he answered me, and delivered me from all my fears.

5Look to him, and be radiant; so your faces shall never be ashamed.

6This poor soul cried, and was heard by the Lord, and was saved from every trouble.

7The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear him, and delivers them.

8O taste and see that the Lord is good; happy are those who take refuge in him.

John 6:35, 41-51

6:35 Jesus said to them, "I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.
6:41 Then the Jews began to complain about him because he said, "I am the bread that came down from heaven."
6:42 They were saying, "Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How can he now say, 'I have come down from heaven'?"
6:43 Jesus answered them, "Do not complain among yourselves.
6:44 No one can come to me unless drawn by the Father who sent me; and I will raise that person up on the last day.
6:45 It is written in the prophets, 'And they shall all be taught by God.' Everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to me.
6:46 Not that anyone has seen the Father except the one who is from God; he has seen the Father.
6:47 Very truly, I tell you, whoever believes has eternal life.
6:48 I am the bread of life.
6:49 Your ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died.
6:50 This is the bread that comes down from heaven, so that one may eat of it and not die.
6:51 I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats of this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh."

Jn 6:35,41-51

35Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty. 41Then the Jews began to complain about him because he said, “I am the bread that came down from heaven.” 42They were saying, “Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How can he now say, ‘I have come down from heaven’?” 43Jesus answered them, “Do not complain among yourselves. 44No one can come to me unless drawn by the Father who sent me; and I will raise that person up on the last day. 45It is written in the prophets, ‘And they shall all be taught by God.’ Everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to me. 46Not that anyone has seen the Father except the one who is from God; he has seen the Father. 47Very truly, I tell you, whoever believes has eternal life. 48I am the bread of life. 49Your ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died. 50This is the bread that comes down from heaven, so that one may eat of it and not die. 51I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats of this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh.”

Ephesians 4:25-5:2

4:25 So then, putting away falsehood, let all of us speak the truth to our neighbors, for we are members of one another.
4:26 Be angry but do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger,
4:27 and do not make room for the devil.
4:28 Thieves must give up stealing; rather let them labor and work honestly with their own hands, so as to have something to share with the needy.
4:29 Let no evil talk come out of your mouths, but only what is useful for building up, as there is need, so that your words may give grace to those who hear.
4:30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with which you were marked with a seal for the day of redemption.
4:31 Put away from you all bitterness and wrath and anger and wrangling and slander, together with all malice,
4:32 and be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ has forgiven you.
5:1 Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children,
5:2 and live in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.

Eph 4:25-5:2

. 25So then, putting away falsehood, let all of us speak the truth to our neighbors, for we are members of one another. 26Be angry but do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, 27and do not make room for the devil. 28Thieves must give up stealing; rather let them labor and work honestly with their own hands, so as to have something to share with the needy. 29Let no evil talk come out of your mouths, but only what is useful for building up, as there is need, so that your words may give grace to those who hear. 30And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with which you were marked with a seal for the day of redemption. 31Put away from you all bitterness and wrath and anger and wrangling and slander, together with all malice, 32and be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ has forgiven you.

5Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children, 2and live in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.

 

[The following are notes from Mike's sermon and are not necessarily the words he used in his preaching.]

1.Opening:

-Thanks for reading

-Before we start: -Start by counting off by sixes (to form six groups of people); these groups will be used later in the service.   Feedback allows for speaker and listeners to interact and coming to a more complete stopping point.

-Welcome to the Dog Days of summer and 11th Sunday after Pentecost

-Dog Days -- are the hottest, most sultry days of summer. In the Northern Hemisphere;  Dog Days were popularly believed to be an evil time "the Sea boiled, the Wine turned sour, Dogs grew mad, and all other creatures became languid; causing to man, among other diseases, burning fevers,

-Year B of Christian Church Lectionary at the (Pentecost = Celebrate the Birth of the Church) which are focused mostly on readings from Mark, however not today.  Our readings today for today are two from the Hebrew Scriptures (1 Kings & Psalm) and two from the Christian Scriptures (Gospel of John & Ephesians).

-Organizing question for my/our refection around these scriptures: What is the ” Good News” in the world of the “Bad News”  of climate change?

-sub questions: How do I respond individually?  & How does 8th Day respond as a community group?

2.Body:

1. First Scriptures was for the 19 Sunday After Pentecost are two Hebrew texts & 2 Christian text.  The general theme of Needs for the Journey – Food; God; Sense of presence; & Good Will

-1st.Kings – What: religious history of Israel from the last days David to Ahaziah. Why: Fidelity of Kings to God; When: Events: Written about 600 BCE Events takes place after Elijah has caused the slaying of prophets of Baal.  He is being pursued by troops of Queen Jezebel to inflict vengeance on him.  He is about ready to give up the ghost.

 Key Phrase.  “Get up and eat, otherwise the journey will be too much for you.”

-Psalm 34 – What: Psalmist, thanksgiving for being rescued can teach the poor and defenseless to trust in God who will make them powerful; When

:Key Phrase: O taste and see that the Lord is good: Happy are those who take refuge in him

 John – Gospel that is highly literary and symbolic;.  This part is from the Book of Signs from “I am” statements  What: Symbol of manna/crossing of Red Sea in Passover & “bread of life” in revelation of God in life of Jesus & Eucharist/new exodus for us a new life.; When : around 100 CE.

Key Phrase:  Whoever eats of this bread will live forever

-Ephesians: What: Letter about how you do church.  Its mission and people. Why: Address challenges of the growing pains of early church; Authorship is attributed to Paul but is probability not. Wrtitten before 100 CE

Key Phrase “….be kind to one another…..”:

2.This summer has been a “good one” for me in many respects.  

-My last teaching year ended on a upbeat note. I am moving from MS to HS.  I will be teaching chemistry to student.  I paid off my student loan.  I rested canoed and sailed some.  But two really outstanding things that I did this summer were to visit Cape Cod for 10-days of vacationing and Bishop Head on MD’s Eastern Shore for 5-days science teacher training. 

-These two experiences along with our very warm winter and hot summer help me come to better terms with climate change (aka Global Warming).  They were great because they help me put into perspective our climate change.

-At Cape Cod, I walked back into the past of the US history.  Pilgrims landed, colonize the land and aboriginal peoples, celebrated first Thanksgiving, Protest Work Ethic,  Yankee Can So Spirit,  Manifest Destiny, refuges from religious and racial oppression….., business model of focusing on the bottom line to organize our actions

In short, organs of our American culture

– Our Social Systems – How we live and act with others and world about us?  World being our assess or resources.

-At Bishop’s Head on MD Eastern Shore, I was more focused on natural systems. 

We did talk about the changing life of the Watermen and their community but the focus was on land, the bay, and animals that lived there.  The Bay is rising about 4mm/yr (almost 2 in/10-yr).  The dramatic decrease in shell fish and fish population due to over fishing.  Oysters were so plentiful at some times that they were a hazards to boats who would them get stuck.  Blue Crab harvests are not especially good. In the summer, parts of the bay are dead.

  What came through in a more vivid way was that the Bay is dying.  People are changing their habits, governments  are drafting better legislation, and the Bay is slightly improving.  However, the reality is that so many more people are moving into around the Bay and into the watershed which extends into WV, PA, & NY state that long term prognosis is not good.  Our Social Systems do not appear able to change fast enough to biological part of the Natural Systems of the Bay. 

3. Interactive Reflections using these scriptures to explore our faith with these scriptures (=what we know to be true but is beyond our senses but we know to be true)

-Get up and eat, otherwise the journey will be too much for you.

- O taste and see that the Lord is good; happy are those who take refuge in him

-Whoever eats of this bread will live forever….

-….be kind to one another…..”

So thinking about these scriptures, the interactions between our natural & social systems, and population challenge that our earth can sustain a population of only one billion people and we now have six billion and growing rapidly.

 Some of the problem with too many people in a finite space is that we bump into each other more.  More people that need more clean water, food, and place to live.  People in a small place tend to not be their best selves.

-“Loving one another” would be more tested.   Even ordinary bumps can escalate into violence.  More bumps more violence.  Your social systems would be stressed in response to our Natural Systems being stressed. 

Relfection: Are you ready

-Get up and eat, otherwise the journey will be too much for you.

- O taste and see that the Lord is good; happy are those who take refuge in him

-Whoever eats of this bread will live forever….

-….be kind to one another…..”

 -Get up and eat, otherwise the journey will be too much for you.

- O taste and see that the Lord is good; happy are those who take refuge in him

-Whoever eats of this bread will live forever….

-….be kind to one another…..”

Reflections:

-Could the Ones stand up.  This ones are a very special group.  I would like ask you to stand in for the upper 15% to 20% of the world’s population that the earth can sustain.  Maybe about 1 Billion people.

-People that are still sitting down are remaining 80% to 85% that the world cannot sustain?

-Take a look around at which group you are in.

-Nice exercise if we think of geologic time scale.

-Frogs in pan on the stove.  You may have heard that you can boil them to eat if you put them in cold water and slowly heat them up.  However, if you put them in boiling water at first they will jump out and escape.

-However, suppose there is some “Bad News” that natural systems are very unstable and that within one generation (20-yr) 80% to 85% of the present population will no longer be here. 

-How will the Social Systems respond to the Natural System.  Natural System ultimately rule.  Universe is 15 B year old; Earth is 6 B; and ice has only receded from the Chesapeake Bay area for the past 12,000 year.   Abraham was only 4, 000 years ago.

-What is like to be a One or non-One?

-How did you become a One or non-One?

-What type of people are the Ones/ non-Ones?

-Where would the 1% be?

-Where would the other elites be? 

-How will you stay a One or non-One?

-Do you think that there will be competition, hording/ greed, migration, violence, War?

--Got some “bad news” here?  We got some problems or, more popularly, "challenges"?

-There was a Viking Colony in Greenland that survived for over 500 hundred years before it died out because over use of their resources.  Refused to adapt to their environment?

What is the “Good News” about this situation?

- Hebrew scriptures?.

--Christian scriptures?

-Get up and eat, otherwise the journey will be too much for you.

- O taste and see that the Lord is good; happy are those who take refuge in him

-Whoever eats of this bread will live forever….

-….be kind to one another…..”

--This is a strange group. 

-Somewhat a fluid groups because other groups move into out of it. (such as Ones)

-They “choose life so that their children may be free?”  One of their revered members thinks that they “should have life in all of its abundance.”  

-Other groups have this interest.

3.Closing:

-Before we end, let’s reflect were we been and where you and maybe we might want to go.

-Dog Days of summer – Notice the Natural & Social Systems

-Scriptural Readings  

- Get up and eat, otherwise the journey will be too much for you.

- O taste and see that the Lord is good; happy are those who take refuge in him

-Whoever eats of this bread will live forever….

-….be kind to one another…..”

 

-Use these scriptures to explore our Faith around our ongoing climate change.

-We reflected with the use of our present and growing population on “Bad News” and “Good News” of Climate Change.

-Where do I, you, and we go from here?  -- As an individual or as a group.

-The situation looks bleak in most regards – the stakes are high but the motivation for change is low.

-A little despair may be a good thing…. a motivational thing….  

-The Christian church had its starting point in some dark days.  Jesus’s apostles were lost and despairing with their leader’s execution on Good Friday.  But they pick some hope with the empty tomb on Easter Sunday.  By Pentecost they had found their voice and energy to carry on Jesus’s dream.   That seminal group of people with no budget, no five year plan, no staff, no organizational structure went on to  produced people like Paul who went out and did change the world. 

-I think Margaret Mead captures this movement in her quote

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.

-Slavaery, Woman Suffage, Civil Rights, Velvet revolution including South Africa, Gay Rights

I am wondering if 8th Day has some role to play in climate change.  Maybe in the vision process we could find it. 

The very name of 8th Day speaks of engagement in the world.  The world has been created and humans have rested what do the we do next to the 9th, 10th, 11th Day. 

I do not think that we are Last Day people.