Arcola United Methodist Church

Abundance Sermon

**Sunday, November 11, 2018 Finance Bulletin Insert**


Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.” 

So, God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.” 

Then God said, “I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food. And to all the beasts of the earth and all the birds in the sky and all the creatures that move along the ground—everything that has the breath of life in it—I give every green plant for food.” And it was so. 

God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning—the sixth day. 
— Genesis 1: 26-31


It was very good!  That was God’s assessment of creation. 

When I was a kid, there were two ways you could go into town. The fastest way was to walk the streets or ride your bike. But hardly anyone chose that route unless they were on a parent’s errand. No, the preferred way to get into town was to follow the trails by the banks of Ralston Creek. The terrain was anything but smooth. There were rocks, holes and dead ends where you would have to cross on natural stone bridges. But the trees formed a canopy over the creek. It was cool, even on the sunniest day. There were fish, tadpoles, frogs, crawdads, muskrats, squirrels. Kids built rope swings and tree houses along the banks. Half the time when you were headed to town this way, you would abandon your journey in favor of some natural adventure. 

It was unmanicured. It was wild. And it was good. 

I dare say most of my happiest childhood memories took place outdoors. God seemed so much more tangible in those days. His workshop was my playground. 

As I have gotten older, I’ve noticed that less and less of my time is spent in nature. I get busy and go from home, to car, to work, to restaurant, to car and back home again. If I don’t pay attention, weeks will go by without me spending any time just enjoying nature. Predictably, I get antsy and a little unsettled. At those times, I hear my mother’s voice telling me, “go outside and get the stink blown off.”

There is a reason why even the busiest cities have parks, gardens and in a pinch even vacant lots. We are a part of creation. And when we lose ourselves in creation, we are, in effect, playing with God. 

The natural world may be shrinking, but it is far from gone. God’s creation in very tenacious. You can see wonder even in the crack of a sidewalk, though it works best when you are immersed in wild untamed life. 

Don’t forsake the majesty of creation. It is good. Very good.


God Your handiwork is evident from the peaks of Yosemite to the dandelions in a buckled parking lot. Help us to remember, that we are part of that creation. Remind us that joy is to be found when we spend time in Your natural world. And never let us forget that we are the guardians of Your environment.  Amen. 

Written by Ben Roberts. Ben is Chair of the Men’s Ministry and leads one of the Men's Ministry groups. He lives in Ashburn with his wife Jennifer and their son Ethan.

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