Faith at the End of Your Fork Message, April 28, 2012, Eric Lemonholm
This is my message for the Faith at the End of Your Fork Opening Worship today at Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd. Anna Lappe spoke, and the day was filled with learning about the intersection between faith and the food we eat. An awesome day!
Psalm 65 (The Psalm 65 translation adapted from Ellen Davis, Sojourners, May 2012.)
7Blessed are those who trust in the Lord, whose trust is the Lord.8They shall be like a tree planted by water, sending out its roots by the stream. It shall not fear when heat comes, and its leaves shall stay green; in the year of drought it is not anxious, and it does not cease to bear fruit.
The biblical witnesses testify to our connection to one another and to the earth.
In the first creation story in Genesis 1, God sees all of creation and calls it good.
The seas and land, plants, animals and humans, all are good in God’s eyes.
In the second creation story in Genesis 2, God is a Gardener, planting a garden called Eden, “delight,” and creating Adam and Eve.
Adam means earthling, child of the earth, Adamah.
It’s like our word human. Human means earthling, one formed from humus, the soil.
Long story short: Adam (human, earthling) gets together with Eve (life), and God gives them a vocation, a calling to care for the earth, to keep and till the garden of creation, to be stewards of the earth.
That is our number one job as human beings, as humus-beings: to care for the soil, the water, and the air, and all the creatures that live therein.
- How are we doing?
- How is our garden growing?
- How is our world ecosystem thriving?
- How is the health of our soil, our water, and our air?
That’s what we are here today to find out.
The answer (I fear we will learn) is that our garden is in crisis mode, and we are so alienated from our being as humans, that we hardly notice.
We are also here today to learn what we can do about our global crisis, how we can reclaim our common vocation as stewards of the earth, caretakers of the soil and waters and air and life.
Like much of Scripture, Psalm 65 testifies to the deep connection between God the Creator (the Soul of the world) and all of creation.
God “abundantly enriches” the earth.
We are called to be satisfied with the good God has provided, and to rejoice with the animals and plants in God’s abundance.
We are also called to come before God in silent praise, bringing before the Creator our failure to fulfill our vocation as world stewards.
We repent for the careless way we have treated God’s good world.
We seek atonement – at-one-ment – from and with the Soul of the world.
Our roots are shallow.
Our connection with the earth is weak.
Our global food system is a house of cards.
So when a crisis approaches, fear and anxiety arise within us.
As the heat rises and drought approaches, we keep doing what we’ve been doing, but we have a nagging awareness that there must be another way.
- A way to send out our roots deep into the soil of God’s world.
- A way to live connected to one another, to the earth, and to the farmers who grow our food.
- A way to live more simply and healthily for the sake of our neighbors and the earth – and ourselves.
- A way to fulfill our vocation as keepers and tillers of God’s world garden.
The greatest revelation is God’s book of creation, the world, the cosmos.
Our call and our joy today is to no longer be alienated from the soil from which we came, but to be reclaim our identity as human beings and join with other children of earth in holy living and holy eating – living and eating for the sake of our neighbors – all our neighbors, human and animal and plant.