||Environmental Stewardship Commission
Episcopal Diocese of
Creation Season 2: Plants
Sermon originally presented October 14, 2001
Copyright 2001 by Thomas
How the world blesses us
Theme for Sermon series
Blessing of the animals, we bless them
But animals and plants are blessing us all the time!
God gives to Adam and Eve the plants for food
14 You cause the grass
for the cattle, and plants for people to use, †
to bring forth food from the earth,
15 and wine to gladden
heart, oil to make the face shine,
and bread to strengthen the human heart.
16 The trees of the LORD
the cedars of Lebanon that he planted.
17 In them the birds
the stork has its home in the fir trees.
Trees are my favorite
Trees bless us in many ways
Cedars, Symbol of the glory of the promised land
Also a symbol of pride
Not that a plant is capable of pride, as far as we know, but in their
and strength they look proud to us.
Their destruction is an image of a land laid waste by an enemy
No outsider is laying waste to the last old growth forests in the
Our own lumber companies are seeking permission to do it for us.
We are not treating the rain forests and the old growth forests as if
were treasured companions on our journey through space.
We are not returning their many blessings with kindness and blessings
Beauty, No real reason for that
Maple across the street: Shades from light green through yellow to an
fluorescent reddish orange
Paper (maybe not a blessing?)
Jesus used the behavior of plants as teaching analogies
Actually made possible the explosion of knowledge and technical skill
Could pass on know how over generations, and over distance
Founding fathers were students of Aristotle, Plato, and Holy Scripture
Inspired by all three as they crafted our republic
Of course the first papers were made from linen, but that is a plant
Psalm 1 portrays God’s faithful servants this way:
26 So when the plants came up
grain, then the weeds appeared as well.
27 And the slaves of the
came and said to him, ‘Master, did you not sow good seed in your field?
Where, then, did these weeds come from?’
28 He answered, ‘An enemy has
The slaves said to him, ‘Then do you want us to go and gather them?’
29 But he replied, ‘No; for in
the weeds you would uproot the wheat along with them.
30 Let both of them grow
the harvest; and at harvest time I will tell the reapers, Collect the
first and bind them in bundles to be burned, but gather the wheat into
my barn.’ ”
31 “The kingdom of
heaven is like
a mustard seed that someone took and sowed in his field;
32 it is the smallest of all
but when it has grown it is the greatest of shrubs and becomes a tree,
so that the birds of the air come and make nests in its branches.”
1 Happy are those
Whose delight is in the law of the LORD,
3 They are like trees
by streams of water, which yield their fruit in its season,
and their leaves do not wither. In all that they do, they prosper.
And in Leviticus, Part of Celebrating God’s blessings:
39 Now, the fifteenth day of the
seventh month, when you have gathered in the produce of the land, you
keep the festival of the LORD, lasting seven days; a complete rest on
first day, and a complete rest on the eighth day.
40 On the first day you shall take
the fruit of majestic † trees, branches of palm trees, boughs of leafy
trees, and willows of the brook; and you shall rejoice before the LORD
your God for seven days.
Those of you who read Guns, Germs, and Steel learned
the various obstacles and time frames for the domestication of plants
the beginning of agriculture.
For our purposes today, it’s enough to say that the Cultivation of
revolutionized human life.
Relatively few plants were worth cultivating: Grains with large heads;
The lowly grasses provide about 50% of the calories consumed in the
Food for meat and dairy animals
Creators of virtually all food value on the planet
They alone can capture the suns energy in a chemical form that every
Power and persistence of life
A time when there was no oxygen
Removing Carbon Dioxide
No machine can do this for us on the scale required
Variety: Cactus to seaweed.
Trees clinging high on the mountain
Crabgrass growing in the cracks in the pavement, ever so slowly
Beauty: Flowers, leaves
Praise God for the many gifts plants give to us.
Finding the moccasin flowers in the woods at the cabin.
May we be wise caretakers of this bounty
To Tom Harries' other Creation Season
This sermon was part of a four-week Creation
Season service first presented in October 2001 at St.
Nicholas' Episcopal Church, Richfield, MN. For additional
on the service, contact the Rev
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