St Matthews Digital
06 September 2020
Agents for Life
6 September 2020. 23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time. St Matthew-in-the-City, Auckland, Aotearoa New Zealand
Rev Cate Thorn
Have You Seen?
18 June 2017
07 August 2016
28 January 2022
What is religious freedom
26 March 2017
Flowing from Lent towards Easter
04 February 2022
04 February 2022
Climate Crisis Statement
02 October 2016
Challenging our faith
14 February 2021
06 March 2022
05 March 2017
Climate Change - can we make a difference?
Meditation & Prayer
Arts and Music
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Agents for Life
How am I to you? Welcome today to this first Sunday in the season of creation the first Sunday in Spring that also happens to be the first Sunday in knocked down 2.5 and Oakland. Of course not. All of these are liturgically correct Seasons but they are the seasons that we are walking through.
The woods of us liturgy will change a bit today to reflect the change in our season and I'm delighted to have included in our music today. A song by Sister Cecily. She, he she happens to be reading Our Gospel today. Thank you. Sister Li for sharing your gifts, as a musician, and for being part of our practice of our parish. And so, our worship continues with the greeting.
Grace to you and peace from God, our creator. The love at our beginning and Without End in our midst and with us, God is with us here. We find new life.
The Earth and everything on it, the world. And all who live in it. Belong to God. We live in God's world. We are not alone.
we shared it's like with the heavens and the Earth with the waters tender land with trees and grasses with fish birds and animals with creatures for big reform and with all our brothers and sisters together, we form strands and the web of creation and held together by God, created in the beginning creation was woven A beautiful way of loved into being in which all things are connected in, which all things the Dolphins, we are one of creation sentence for today. Oh God, how manifold are your Works in wisdom, you have made them all. The Earth is full of all your creatures and we pray God of evolving diversity.
He's known and seed and soil and The Wonder of animals was free our hearts from the anxiety, which knows only domination open. I'll being to learn from the life with which we share this.
Hear the gospel of Christ, according to Matthew chapter 6, beginning at verse 25.
therefore, I tell you do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, or about your body, what you will wear Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing.
Look at the birds of the air, they neither sow, nor reap, nor gather into Barns, and yet our garden Heaven. Feeds them, are you not more value than they?
And can any of you by worrying? Add a single hour to your span of life. And why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow? They neither toil nor spin yet. I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not clothed like one of these.
but if God so clothes the grass of the field which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the oven But he not much more clothe you. Oh, you of little faith. Therefore, do not worry saying, what shall we eat? Or what will we drink? Or what will we wear? Those without faith are always running after these things.
God knows everything you need.
Seek first, God's rain, and God's justice. And all these things will be given to you as well.
So, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring worries of its own.
Today's trouble is enough for today.
This is the gospel of Christ.
Today in a liturgical calendar. As I've already mentioned, is the first Sunday in the season of creation.
The Seesaw creation as a time and we decide to be more intentional and I'm noticing of creation, pay closer attention to Creation. The Gospel directs us to learn from the birds of the air, the lilies and the grasses of the fields, each is for laughs and to being under sustained by our creator. And for these things we give thanks and praise.
It is also a season, we pay attention to our relationship with creation, be reminded of our fundamental interconnectedness. We have the habit of considering their to Being Human makes us superior to the rest of creation.
We're prone to forgetting. We're made of the same substance as the rest of creation.
And so doing we overstate our significance at the replace ability in the schema of this fragile planet.
It is curious to consider if humans as a species were to cease to exist, to no longer be on our planet. The rest of the life of the planet would flourish.
If insects were to disappear to be destroyed from the life of the planet, the life of our planet will be destroyed within 50 years.
The life, the existence of planet Earth are only place of home is precariously, endangered, because of human exists. So, we going to pay attention to that, pay attention to the choices we're making, and the repercussions of those choices, for the continuance of the life of our only home.
Is how we live and what we do, differently different choosing changes things. So yes we're going to talk about climate change.
Climate change. I could give you a lot of information about it.
I could talk about the science of it, the intricate and complex proving of the catastrophe that is at hand.
But I'm not a scientist.
Journalist Nathaniel Rich writes in his book losing Earth.
There has been, no fundamental change and climate physics since 1979 only refinement.
Rebecca Huntley, reflects climate scientists, realize that when it comes to the climate change caused the bulk of the work has been done.
All they are doing is updating the data on a theory proven correct. Countless times to be true.
I'm not going to talk about the science of it. I'm sure you've heard it all before.
So I could talk about wildfires ravage, Landscapes of melting, ice floes stranded and disappear in polar bears. Will remind you of unprecedented, cyclonic storms and record-breaking freezing temperatures or I could speak to you of the anger of the First Nation people of the Torres Strait or the people to Fiji, or could have a party.
Who helped us? We watching the unsold lens. Be washed away, witnessing the tearing apart of their ancestral, intergenerational identity, the interconnected way of knowing who they are.
Washed away out of their hands through. No fault, no thing that do they have done at the mercy of the actions of countries and economies well beyond their Shores.
But I'm not going to talk about the Landscapes of it.
I'm sure you've heard it all before.
I could talk to you about Griffith. Underberg about the radius of our. Young people pleading activating staring us down about a reprehensible left of care and intentional denying of them, a future out of selfishness and greed.
Each of your children or your grandchildren who won't enjoy the natural playgrounds, you enjoy that, you explored and celebrated, we won't know the world. We take for granted the animals and the creatures delaying sake Gates and the seascapes, the world we speak on.
It would have disappeared.
But I'm not going to talk about the generational impact. I'm sure you've heard it all before.
I could talk about the links of a pandemic such a covid-19 with human over stretcher into untouched Landscapes or humans with a commercial gain, breach, natural, boundaries that. Keep us safe from interspecies contamination. Overcrowded animal farming demanded by human consumption. That creates breeding grounds for viruses to a debt to change the species that host them.
But I'm not going to talk about the destructive greed of it.
I'm sure you've heard it all before.
I could talk about finger pointing scapegoating and blame transferring a responsibility to anyone else who has a worse offender than me or them or us of those who deny that there is anything taking place or of a sense of shame or guilt of it cripples, anger and freezes us and cows us into an action.
But I'm not going to talk about the psychological impact of it.
I'm sure you've experienced it before.
We know these things.
Has any of the snow? Which moved you in any fundamental way to change. Has it moved? You so deeply that you cannot imagine continuing to live as you have. If that way of living is truly destroying the world, It can be hard to make the link between what we do and how we live and the life of the world.
To understand how intimately we're connected with creation. It's hard to make creation out to their personal in here.
So I want to ask you to do something.
Don't worry. It's not arduous. It can be done, right? Where you are.
I want you to hold out your hand in front of you.
You, I want you to look at it and to consider it.
Consider the complex Beauty and utility of your hand. Look at it.
Feel it, the pulsing of life in it.
How did it come to be?
This is not a religious or a scientific or a philosophical question.
It is more.
Did you earn it?
Did you deserve it?
Did you choose it?
Did you have part in its creation?
Or did you receive it?
the gift, you're growing into the knowing How do we live to seoul-based, honor, the gift, given us to reflect the dignity, and the beauty and the unique nature of this gift.
Who response to that? Question will be unique to you.
There is much we take for granted.
So it is with creation.
It is a gift we receive.
How do we learn? So to best honor, those gift given to us to reflect the dignity and the beauty and the unique nature of the skiff.
What would move us to deeply comprehend? The situation. We are in To accept that the way we lived as contribute to and caused this destruction, what would it take for us to be rewired?
What would cause us to be willing to examine our expectations of what makes for a successful life?
To ask questions, deep questions about what truly matters to us. What we most value and whether we live the way we live, allows those things to be expressed, Maybe covid-19 has forced the issue at all.
Even so we know when the crowding pressures are production and productivity of time, poverty and income, necessity of social influence and mass misinformation of obligations and responsibilities rise to over Wellness.
Then climate change becomes another thing.
But let's stop. Let's stop and stick back. Just a moment. Stick down from their anxiety.
Climate change is now a part of the way things are.
The reality of this is a refutable.
For all the pressures on us for all we want it. Not to be this way for all that. We don't want to change the way we live or disrupt, our expectations of life or inconvenience. Our lifestyle.
Climate changing world is our reality.
We know this.
We experienced this.
Rather than it being a burden out there. Another external Force pressing on us. What if we understood and accepted?
Climate change is a part of our world. Our, what is real yours? Mine? Not other.
Because the thing is that when we know what we have, whichever world we live in when we know what our circumstances are the resources that are available to us, we tend to turn to make the best of what we have.
We tend to want like to flourish, we tend to want to utilize what we have.
We want our uniqueness to contribute to that flourishing.
And we know we need to do this with others whose uniqueness Compliments are.
Maybe when we decide for this, when we accept, this is the way things are and that we have, what is needed for the world to flourish.
We might live differently.
Rather than as oppositional teenagers resisting an inevitability imposed on us.
We might decide to step up.
And be active agents for life.
See her thiz her mother. She feeds and she closed us. She gives a feeder place to start. The ground is the hashes of all our grandparents. So tread with respect on this, this we do know the Earth does not belong to It's we who belong to the Earth or things are connected like lard in one family For Better or For Worse Leo.
We've done so much damage to land and to people's the price can never know. Now be paid So let us rip head while time is still with us, a child is a sign that we can know the Earth. Does not belong to us. It's we belonged to the or things are connected like blood in one.
For Better, or For Worse, we home.
A poor a tato. Let us pray.
Let us give thanks for the gift of this first week of spring for new life and hope. Thanks to for this first week at level 2 .5 locked down.
For welcome recovered freedoms. In our city of Oakland.
Let us give thanks to God for the joy of creation. If we pause look, listen and consider on this day. The beginning of a three-week season of creation at st. Matthews Church, we can soon find joy.
Quoting from CS Lewis's. Book surprised by Joy. He describes joy as the stab, the Pang, the inconsolable longing.
He in turn borrowed, his book title from a poem surprised by Joy by William Wordsworth.
Personally, I am surprised by Joy daily in part because like, c.s. Lewis. I chose to marry a woman called Joy.
This week she shared with me a pithy Sunday school explanation of this god-given gift of Joy, simply put J is for Jesus, O is for others. Y is for yourselves yet. These three letters take us straight to. Jesus is teaching on the greatest commandment and then his number two, Jesus tells us Love our God with all our heart. Mind and soul.
The second to love your neighbor as yourself.
See how Jesus gets three Commandments out of two?
So let us pray to God for the grace love and self awareness. To always remember to wear our face masks. As we sit down now on a bus or train next to strangers.
To give thanks that our fellow passengers wearing their face spouse to intern to keep us safe.
Let us pray to God for our church leaders.
For our Bishop Ross, our vicar Helen and her co-worker Kate. We ask that, they be blessed with courage strength and a spirit of innovation as they lead us out of lockdown for a second time.
Let us pray for New Zealand, particularly for those who seek to use energy and transport more sustainably.
Give thanks for the blessing of a bus stop and a shine and shiny new double decker buses right outside the front doors of our church give, thanks to for the Intrepid men and women building deep underground, the new äôt Aurora railway station. Just down the hill from this church, Pray that they may be kept safe as they work in such a challenging workplace.
Let us pray for Alpha. Now our family friends, bubbles next door neighbor's. Give us Grace to listen to help care for and pray for our people and their sick. Lonely unemployed, or frightened finally.
Kia, kaha, tarell, Maori, let us make the Maori language. Strong, Maori language week is almost upon us. Our her new e Harmony Call me later.
The land belongs to you a common gift to all.
Let us go and short in the ways of the Creator on the holy ganga creation. Let us bind ourselves to The Lure of Love. Make it to the center of our wisdom.
It is singing our voices and beaten our hearts for two's. The presence of God in every moment of every day saying choose life. And so may the blessing of this God, creating redeeming and give her a new life.
We with you this day and always go now for the spirit of God is alive, and the land are men. We go in the power of love.