Sermon preached by Peter Harris at Westlake Church, Nyon, January 2001.
Sermon delivered at West Hamilton Community Church on 16 Nov 2014 by Richard Storey
Sermon delivered 12 April 2015 (the Sunday after Easter) at West Hamilton Community Church by Richard Storey
A Rocha’s 2009 Environment Resource Pack, examining the question ‘Whose world is it anyway?’
This sermon outline is adapted from one written for ‘Creation Time 2009’ and has appeared on the website of Churches Together in Britain & Ireland
‘Biodiversity’ is not a biblical term but it is a deeply biblical concept. Scripture repeatedly celebrates the variety, beauty and complexity of creation: from affirming ‘God saw that it was good’ in Genesis 1 through to the book of Revelation where four creatures representing nature’s diversity – birds, humans, wild and domestic animals – worship the risen, enthroned Jesus. Nowhere is biodiversity celebrated more than in Psalm 104. Verse 24 (in The Message) sums it up by simply stating ‘What a wildly wonderful world, God!’ Let’s turn to look at what we can learn from this Psalm.
The value of the non-human creation goes deeper than its value to people. In Genesis 9 we hear about how God tells Noah to save the earth’s biodiversity in order ‘to keep their various kinds alive throughout the earth’ (Genesis 7:3), implying their value is not tied to their usefulness to Noah.
In the light of our current food system’s problems, we look at a ‘just food’ system with the Bible’s help. One mnemonic to help is ‘Eat LESS’. Not only is this about reducing quantities of food and waste, but about eating food that is: Local • Ethical • Seasonal • Slow.
Eating is central, both in the Eucharist / Holy Communion and to Jesus’ pictures of God’s Kingdom as the heavenly banquet. All our eating today – around the ‘Lord’s table’ and around our own tables, should reflect and anticipate the values of God’s coming Kingdom. The values that unite Eucharist and Banquet include: Eating together, Eating well, Eating with Jesus, and Eating in anticipation.
This sermon is based on Leviticus 25:1–12, 18–24 (The Sabbath of the Land) & Luke 12:16–21 (The Parable of the Rich Landowner). It includes an optional PowerPoint presentation to illustrate the sermon.