Things went well today yesterday, I think, other than a few mishaps and distractions.
I was inspired by the Wendell Berry-inspired workshop at last week’s conference to speak about the implications for creation care that arise out of scripture. The Bible does not have a green agenda; if it has any agenda, it’s a redemptive one, and there are implications for our view of creation in that. My main points:
1. Genesis 1: God looked at everything he created and saw that it was “very good”. He never took that back. The natural world isn’t just incidental to our creation, but is good in and of itself.
At the fall human relationship with the rest of creation was broken, which may well be why we find ourselves where we are environmentally.
2. The created world is in some sense the voice of God (see Romans 1:18-20–“general revelation”). I wondered if our current abusive approach to nature isn’t a new way of “suppressing the truth” about God.
3. The redemptive work of the cross of Christ is for all of creation (Colossians 1:19-20; Ephesians 1:10; Romans 8:19-23)–if we expect to come out of the future resurrection with transformed bodies and yet still be ourselves, it’s reasonable, I think, to expect the same for creation.
It didn’t take long to realize that this was a HUGE subject and a couple of hours of preparation wasn’t giving it nearly enough and it was probably too much to cram into one sermon (especially when I had less time than usual). It deserves a series, but that’s difficult to do when I only speak twice a month and in the very near future I will start to be bumped from the schedule for candidating pastors.
Oh well. Live and learn.
I was thinking this week and again after this sermon about what pastors do if they realize they have spoken in error in a sermon. I made a modern-day analogy a couple of weeks ago when speaking on 1 Corinthians 8 (the “strong”, the “weak” and meat sacrificed to idols) and it occurred to me this week that perhaps my analogous example was a poor one (I’ve decided it wasn’t). After Sunday’s service I was talking to Phil and realized that perhaps I had made some lazy word choices that might have negative implications (it didn’t help that I was trimming the sermon as I spoke).
Now both of those instances are minor. But what about a more serious error? Do you just ignore it? Bring it up next Sunday? Issue a retraction? Fix the error with the following sermons? An interesting question. (It is for me, anyway.) Of course, I’m learning that not everything can be said in one sermon (or even a couple of sermons), so perhaps it’s possible to develop a progression of thought that deals with whatever has gone before.
(Have I ever posted about a sermon before? I’ve been reluctant to do so. Still am. But I felt like posting something.)