SERMON = The gospel according to animals (Genesis 1)

Sermon = The gospel according to animals (or) The intrusion of heaven, part 2
Trinity Sunday (A)
Text = Genesis 1 (and 2)

Google Slides presentation 

Theme = Purpose for which God made humanity + places us in the world and how our relationship with creatures reflects the gospel and salvation in Christ

Ed.Not the most biblically or theologically precise sermon I have delivered. To a large extent I was having fun. On a more serious note – the reason I love animals so much is largely because of the theology outlined in this sermon.

Introduction

 

  • Two? Two different Beanies Boos?

 

  • I can only eat one Happy Meal
  • I mean… my daughter can only eat one Happy Meal at a time
  • The manager laughs and smiles
  • Because she knows
  • Two weeks ago I begin a quest
  • To collect all the Beanie Boos
  • That McDonald’s puts in the Happy Meals for children
  • 15 different small Beanie Babies
  • Of different animals
  • Including a rhinocerous!
  • So I go to McDonald’s every day
  • For 2 weeks
  • And try to collect all the different Beanie Boos
  • For my daughters
  • And then a worker tells me
  • She has all 15
  • What? How? How did you do that?
  • She just buys the toys
  • You do not have to buy a Happy Meal
  • You can buy only the toy for $2
  • Oh

26 Then God said, “Let us make humankind[a] in our image, according to our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the wild animals of the earth,[b] and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth.”

  • Bible reading from Genesis 1
  • One of the most important stories in Bible
  • Because the story of creation reveals
  • God who creates all things
  • Including human beings and why
  • What is our role in creation
  • Which in turn helps us understand better good news of kingdom of God in Christ Jesus
  • Much we can say about this first story of creation
  • That begins with God
  • And this Spirit who broods over chaos of dark angry water
  • And God speaks – the Word – and from chaos comes light life and harmony
  • Days one through three God shapes places and provides resources
  • Light air water land trees plants
  • Days four through six God calls into being creatures
  • Sun moon and stars
  • Sea creatures and birds
  • Animals and creeping things of every kind
  • This alone is significant
  • And beyond our understanding
  • The sun is a creature
  • And so is a dog
  • To each creature God gives purpose and power
  • Give light
  • Manage time
  • Become many and fill the earth
  • Samuel Balentine = scholar of Old Testament
  • The Torah’s Vision of Worship
  • Thesis = the first books of Bible…
  • In stories of creation present a vision that calls all creation – including the household of God – to worship
  • Speaking of which God creates human beings last
  • Last! We are pinnacle and part of creation
  • Like all the other creatures
  • And yet different
  • “Let us make humankind in our image according to our likeness”
  • Not we look like God
  • Or have attributes of God
  • Image is not a list of things
  • As much as it is a role within creation
  • Nahum Sarna = another scholar
  • Points out other ancient cultures
  • The king is the image of the god
  • BIble teaches all humans bear the image of God
  • Just as ancient kings represent their gods in society
  • Humans reflect and represent God
  • Creator of heaven and earth
  • Represent God in the world
  • In a way where physical creation meets divine life
  • We hold physical and spiritual together
  • And how?
  • “Let them have dominion / let them rule”
  • I like translation “let them manage
  • Manage fish birds animals
  • Perhaps air water land trees and plants
  • Let them manage the world with God and for God
  • Like sun and like fish
  • God gives us power and responsibility
  • Take care of this world and everything in it
  • In 2nd creation story God creates the man and places him in a garden
  • In order to serve and protect it
  • Power yes – used in service
  • Several years ago during Bible study
  • Edith Kirkpatrick asks, What about animals?
  • I said we represent God even to animals
  • We are not God
  • God loves and cares for animals himself
  • And gave us special responsibility
  • God creates us for communion – for relationship – with God
  • Who already is communion! God is relationship within Godself!
  • Father – Son – Holy Spirit
  • And yet three – three yet somehow one
  • Today is Trinity Sunday
  • We are created to image God in this world
  • To live in harmony with God and with creation and creatures
  • The man names the animals
  • And God accepts this
  • And the Bible tells us the first humans
  • Had a choice and they turn against God
  • And the network of harmonious relationships
  • Gd… humans… animals… world… with ourselves
  • Is broken
  • The wholeness of creation is torn apart
  • That is why I love astronomy and animals
  • That is why I love dogs [context??? Does this fit here?]
  • Abbot Tryphon is a monk in Washington state
  • He writes, The saints (holy men and women in Christ) saw animals as creatures of God
  • Created as gifts of God’s love
  • Did not ignore or hurt animals in their care
  • Saint Paul of Obnora talked with birds
  • Seraphim Sarovski was friends with a bear
  • Saint Isaac of Syria wrote,
  • The humble man approaches wild animals, when they see him they became calm. They come and cling to him as their Master, wag their tails and lick hands and feet. They smell from him the same fragrance that came from Adam before the rebellion. That smell was taken from us – and Christ has renewed it and given it to us at his coming
  • When we experience communion with animals
  • That reminds us of why God created us
  • How God will complete the salvation of all things
  • And God through Christ gives back to us the fragrance of Adam
  • Which is the aroma of the God-man Jesus Christ
  • When we love animals and animals embrace us in peace
  • We see / we smell / we touch the intrusion of heaven

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