Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Sermon -- Earth Speaks: What’s Next?

[Note: this sermon is best viewed rather than read. It is done as a dramatic monologue with the preacher speaking from Earth's point of view.  Click the link above to watch the video on Youtube.  The text is below:]

The Rev. Leah Schade
“Of Lambs and Limbs” Preaching series, Part Four
Texts:  Genesis 2:18-24; Psalm 8; Mark 10:2-16

[Sung:] O, Lord, how majestic is your name in all of the Earth!
I am Earth.  I am Gaia.  I am Ge.  I am ha-erets.
Birthed from your self-emptying
I knew not who I was at first.
Without shape, you molded me, atom by atom, molecule by molecule
Until I saw that I was round and hot
I could barely contain my excitement in having been created!
My surface burst and bubbled, molten lava shooting up from my depths.
You were patient with me
Until I cooled, my roundness hardening, forming great mountains of rock.
I hovered alone in space.  But not lonely.
All around me my siblings –
my sister moon and other planets joining me in our dance around Sun.
In the distance, my cousins – stars, supernova, comets, black holes. 
All of us sing to you our cosmic song of glory: 
How majestic is your name in all the cosmos, our Creator!

And then I felt something cool and blue  enveloping me like a sheer curtain.
Air!  Sky!  You were breathing into me, your breath flowing all around me:
Ruah, your spirit, surrounding me, inhaling, exhaling, wind blowing.
And what is this?  I am wet. 
Are you weeping upon me? 
I am wet all over, rain falling upon me, coursing down my mountains,
Pooling in my deep places, rising up from my depth in springs.
And then it was quiet.  Just your breath, and the sound of water.
You were patient with me
Until I was ready.  I wanted to know – what’s next?

Ooh!  What was that?
Ooh!  There it is again!
Oh!  That tickles!
What?  What is all this?  Things are moving within my waters.
Look at what you’ve done!  I am alive!  Life lives in me!
Oh, how you have blessed me!
Look – green algae! Yellow fish! Red earthworms! Blue birds!  Orange insects!  Purple frogs!
They dance and swim and fly and creep and make their home in me!
And it was not quiet!  Buzzing and sloshing and splashing and cawing and whistling!
Listen, they are all joining in the song of praise to you, their Creator!
O, Lord, how majestic is your name in all the Earth!

I am not patient now.  I want to know – what’s next?
Ooph! Ooph!  Heavy!
Thump! Thump! Paws, claws, hooves, move
(Sound of galloping)
They race on me! They jump and climb and swing from branches.
Look – there goes the monkey!
Zoom!  There goes the zebra!
Fur and scales, brown and black, white and red.
Teeth, ears, eyes, noses, lambs and limbs –
Look at what you have done!  Oh, how you have blessed me!
I am ready.  What’s next?

[Pretend to gently pull a rib from yourself. Pretend to hold a lump of clay in front of you.  Look at it, rotating it.  Slowly fashion it into a human being, like making a snow man, but a real person.
Add the details – toes, fingers, face].

What is this?  Who is this?
You drew him out of me.  Out of my very soil.  You fashioned him.
This at last is being from my being, and flesh from my body.
This one shall be called Adam, for he was drawn from my rib, from my very body.

Gasp! You are breathing into him! You are giving him your Spirit, your ruah!
He must be very special.  I must be very special, that you would think to create him from me.
Oh, he is lonely.  Yes – bring to him all that lives on me!  See what he will call them, see which one he will choose for a companion.
None?  Yes, let him sleep.

Oh, look – you are doing with him, what you did with me.
Who is this?  He likes!
As I care for him, may he care for her.
May they care for me, as I care for them.

Look at what you have done!
What are human beings that you are mindful of them,
mortals that you care for them?
Yet you have made them a little lower than yourself
And crowned them with glory and honor.
You have given them dominion over the works of your hands  . . .

Oh! Oww!  Look what they have done!
[Cough] What has happened to my air?
What have they done to your ruah?
OOhh! They are cutting into me!
My mountain – it’s gone!
My forests – where did they go?
They are taking from me, drawing my essence out of me.
Why do they not use the sun, as the plants do?

[Choking, gagging]:  What is that? That tastes horrible!
What are they putting into my water?  What is this poison?
Look at my insects.  They are dying.  My bee hives – empty.
All of these dead fish!
My animals in cages.  They live only to feed the one you have made.

And what is he doing to her?  Stop!
You are doing to her what you are doing to me!
Why do you fight your brother?
Why do you kill?
Why do you scream in rage!  Why do you not sing with us the song of glory to your Creator?
O, Lord, how majestic is your name  . . . .

Look at what they have done.  They do not love me.
They are poisoning me, taking from me, drilling me, cutting me, choking me.
They are killing me.
I am afraid to ask:
What’s next?
(Crouching with hand over head]

Bob: [stand and face the congregation]:  And Jesus said:  “Let the little children come to me; do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of God belongs.  Truly I tell you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will never enter it.” 

[Kneel down and put arm around Earth.  Lift her up by the hand.  Embrace her, placing your hands on her head].

Annette:  And he took them up in his arms, laid his hands on them, and blessed them.  Amen.

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