HOLY TRINITY LUTHERAN CHURCH
A Daily Dose of Good News
Monday, May 4, 2020
At 10:30 today, this devotional will be offered online at https://youtu.be/M3Ej7mufXS0
and will remain available throughout the day and week.
To download a printer-friendly version of today’s devotion, please click DDGN 20200504.
Good Morning! How are you? Vicar Sara here for our Daily Dose of Good News. I hope you all are doing well! Today we are going to read from Ezekiel 34:17-23. So, here we go…
17 As for you, my flock, thus says the Lord God: I shall judge between sheep and sheep, between rams and goats: 18 Is it not enough for you to feed on the good pasture, but you must tread down with your feet the rest of your pasture? When you drink of clear water, must you foul the rest with your feet? 19 And must my sheep eat what you have trodden with your feet, and drink what you have fouled with your feet?
20 Therefore, thus says the Lord God to them: I myself will judge between the fat sheep and the lean sheep. 21 Because you pushed with flank and shoulder, and butted at all the weak animals with your horns until you scattered them far and wide, 22 I will save my flock, and they shall no longer be ravaged; and I will judge between sheep and sheep.
23 I will set up over them one shepherd, my servant David, and he shall feed them: he shall feed them and be their shepherd.
The Word of the Lord.
So, yesterday I preached for our service and I talked about sheep, and I thought my sermon was a bit too long, so I pulled a whole page out of it. And part of that page, fits in really nicely here! I don’t remember ever reading this passage before, ever hearing this passage before. It’s pretty unfamiliar to me, even after almost a decade of seminary and growing up in the church. But, it’s one of the most ecological passages I think I’ve ever heard. Often in seminary we talk about ecological apathy and abuses and how we can care for the environment. And sometimes I see the direct link with that more easily than other times. This one- seems pretty obvious! That God is talking about things like, how we don’t take care of our creation. We think about ourselves and taking care of our own needs. In some of that selfishness, whether intentional or unintentional, we “foul” things – with our trodding of our feet in them- for other people who are also using creation, for other creatures who are using creation.
During this time of pandemic, one of the silver linings has been some of the turn arounds with creation. So, I don’t know if you heard about, in Mumbai, India, there are tens of thousands of flamingos- which have gone and flocked to that area. In New Delhi, India, which is the capital, and it’s a very smoggy place, and for the first time in recent memory, they can see blue skies and they can see stars at night. Venice, Italy, you may have heard, the canals there are now so clear, that they can see pretty much to the bottom. They had an octopus in the canal recently, as well as some jellyfish that were spotted. So, while we have been sheltering in place, and not trodding with our feet and dirtying the waters, some of the other creatures of this planet and of this world, have had a chance to potentially rejoice in that and enjoy the creation in that.
And it’s one of the things that’s been a theme with you all, as I’ve been in conversation with you. Theres’s been much more of an appreciation of nature. Whether people are taking more walks, or listening to the birds, or just appreciating the scenery as Spring occurs all around us. Or the beautiful days as the sunshine pops through. But you all are noticing it more, you’re appreciating it more, you’re enjoying it more. So, I thought for today, you could think of one thing that you can do today- to take care of nature. I don’t know what that is, That might be picking up some trash that you see outside, 6 feet away from anybody else. Maybe that’s in a public area like a park, or near a creek, or along the roadside. I don’t know- maybe you do that for 10 minutes today. Or maybe you plant something to grow and to enjoy. Or maybe you decide that you’re going to recycle something today. Or compost something. I don’t know- there are probably many opportunities beyond what’s on the top of my head. But I encourage you to do something, to serve nature rather than yourself today, and that you enjoy God’s creation as you’re doing it. So, I hope you have a great day, I hope you enjoy it, and that you see God at work in the world. Bye- bye.