A while back I post about how my church was doing a sermon series on understanding the world, including an awesome video of a poem inspired by the story of Adam and Eve and the snake. And also including a promise to put up a link to them sermons when they are available online.
They are up now! Here are the links to my two favourite sermons in the series:
– The corruption of God’s world, based on Genesis 3
– God’s care for his world, based on Psalm 104 and Matthew 6
Sadly the first two sermons in the series, on Genesis 1 (creation of the world) and Genesis 2 (creation of humanity) weren’t recorded! But the later sermons in the series can be found at on my church’s website if you are curious to see the rest of them.
EDIT: Heads up – I just downloaded them myself and they are long! I mean, if you are at church, maybe you go to a church where your sermons are that long normally, but usually at our church they are about two thirds or half the length! However they are still very good sermons to listen to if you have the time.
Also, the second talk is missing the first few seconds.
Our church has been running a very intense series of sermons on “Knowing God’s World”. I do not use the word “intense” lightly. We have covered a whole host of issues: life, death, relationships, sex – so far it’s been all through the lens of Genesis and the story of creation and over the next few weeks we will be getting into the other key texts in the bible that shed light on how Christians understand the world we live in. The sermons have been long and have always followed up by extensive questions, so every week our service has run overtime!
Last night was possibly the most confronting sermon so far. It was on God’s provision for his world (looking mainly at Psalm 104 and Matthew 6), which got us into the controversial question of “how is a good God in control when evil things are happening?” Andrew, our minister, handled the whole topic very well, and gave me a very helpful framework for understanding and better articulating my own thoughts (see my old post Scrubs and Suffering). I know and know of many people who have been burnt by Christians (I’m sure this includes me!) giving unsatisfying and even hurtful answers to the question of suffering. I’m hoping that this sharpening of ideas helps me to stop doing that.
The most powerful moment so far however, was not last night’s sermon but the week before. It was the story of Adam and Eve, humanity’s first rebellion. By the end of the sermon I felt drained thinking about the waste and weight of sin. And then we watched this video, which retold the story with such painfully beautiful poetry that I felt empty in my stomach.
The recordings of the sermons will eventually be up on the church website if anyone is interested in hearing them. I’ll post up a link when they are available.
I think it’s the way I’m wired – the geographer and social activist in me (I assume also the Holy Spirit!) keep prodding the rest of my conscience to confront ethics issues regarding food production and food consumption. Also my geographer/envrionmentalist friends. There’s really no escape anymore!
I’m still struggling with the complexity of it all. Ethical food production and consumption intersects with so many enormously difficult issues that the world has been trying to get its head around for years – including climate change, the pros and cons of globalisation, the pros and cons of capitalism and best practice in environmental management. On top of all this I have been working on a project about food insecurity among low income Australian households at work. The few people I have spoken to so far are in dire straits – and the situation here is nowhere near as bad as what is going on in the horn of Africa!
It’s hard to know what to do, so since the start of the year I’ve been taking little baby steps. I have been making slow and subtle changes to what I eat and where I buy my food. At the moment I’m trying my best to:
– avoid all Coles and Woolworths branded products
– buy food from places other than Coles and Woolworths where possible
– buy as much locally sourced fresh food as possible
– cut back our meat consumption
– avoid imported seafood
Maybe someday I will have enough of a grasp of things to be a better advocate of ethical food consumption. In the meantime I am very thankful to Luci, who has recently finished a sweet series of blog posts on Voting with your fork. (That link will take you through to all of her “food” posts). I have also found a couple of neat resources that I think you should check out if you want to explore this issue yourself:
Oxfam’s GROW campaign provides a helpful and simple summary of the different issues contributing to global food insecurity.
GoodFishBadFish is a quick reference tool where you can select any fish available in Australian shops and restaurants to see whether it is at risk of being overfished. It’s a great tool for finding out the most sustainable types of seafood to eat, and it also suggests alternative species if you are really hankering after something that it endangered. (Good news: Octopus is a “better choice”!)
Also, it doesn’t hurt to have a Yiayia who grows her own vegetables and gives the extras to me!
Yiayia with lettuce and her new broccoli plant
I stumbled onto this incredible resource on depression via some college connections. It’s a series of short comics and illustrations by a range of different artists. Each story explores a unique experience of living with depression. I love it – it really captures how it touches everyone so differently.
Strongly recommended for everyone to read!
Find it here: Kinds of Blue