Friday, April 08, 2011

Preach One: Earth Day/Faithfulness

From time to time I am asked if I can weave school events into my Lower School homilies on Friday mornings.  We've been studying the fruits of the Spirit all year - a different fruit each month.  In February, I was preparing my first homily on love, when I was asked if I could weave in something about our support of the MS Gulf Coast the time Friday rolled around, I had also woven in our observance of "Power Down Day."

So here we have faithfulness...and Earth Day (which is on Good Friday this year, so we had to do it a little early).  I have notes with me when I do these homilies, but try to refer to them as little as possible.  The result this time was that I nailed all the Earth Day stuff, but completely forgot to even use the word faithfulness!

[Next week it's Palm Sunday (on Friday)...with threads of an arts festival fundraiser and the 3rd/4th grade writing awards thrown in.  Hosanna, Lord, save us!]

Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them to you, and write them on your heart.  Proverbs 3:3

Do not run at the swimming pool.
Keep your socks on in the McDonald's play area.
Keep your arms and legs inside the roller coast ride at all times.
Raise your hand when you want to speak.
Eat all your vegetables before you have dessert.

There sure lots of rules, aren't there?  Rules at home, rules at school, rules at the swimming pool... There are even rules at Disney World!  You must be 44 inches tall to go on Space Mountain...

A lot of the time, we complain about rules - it seems like rules make things less fun.  But our moms and dads and teachers help us understand that rules really make things more fun, because they keep us safe and healthy and happy.  If you run at the swimming pool, you could slip on the wet pavement and break your leg, and then there would be no more swimming for the rest of the summer.  Not much fun.

If you and everyone else in your class talked without raising your hands, there would be so much noise that no one would be able to hear the wonderful things you were saying.  Not very happy.

Did you know that there are hundreds of rules in the Bible, too?  I'm sure you know about the ten commandments - love God, do not steal, honor your mother and father - but there are lots more rules that God has given us to help us be safe and healthy and happy.  God asks us to be faithful, to always stay close to God by following God's rules even when we don't really feel like it, even when following the rules is hard.

One of the very first rules God gave us is this: Take care of the earth.  In the very beginning, when God made the world, God scooped up some of the brand new earth and breathed into it and made people to look after all the plants and trees and birds and fish and animals and flowers and bugs.  Take care of this world, God said.

Here at St. Andrew's, we do a pretty good job of following that rule (and all our other rules, too!).  We learn all about the world God made in our science classes, where we even get to grow plants from seeds and take care of classroom pets.  In our classrooms we recycle our paper.  Middle and Upper School students also recycle plastic water bottles and soda cans.

Sometimes following God's first rule is hard, or takes a little extra effort when we really don't feel like it.  We have to pick up all the trash on the playground instead of just playing all the time.  We have to remember to recycle when it would be easier just to toss paper or cans in the garbage.  We have to scoop up bugs in a cup and carry them outside instead of just squishing them and moving on.  But if we didn't take care of the earth, our land and our oceans and our skies might get sick.  Not much fun.

Earth Day is coming up soon.  People all over the world will remember how important it is to follow God's first rule - take care of this place.  God loves the world and everything in it, and God loves us.

So let's be faithful to God.  The rules aren't so bad after all - they keep us and our earth safe and healthy and happy.  Let's take care of this world, and love it just as much as God loves us!  Amen.

1 comment:

Melissa said...

Thank you for your earth day Homily. I love reading your blog. Melissa