This is on YOU

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Gen. 3:1-24; Heb 2:1-10; John 1:19-28

When Adam and Eve meet up with the serpent, we get more than talking snakes and fig leaves.  We hear of Adam and Eve hiding from God.

Of course, that’s not it.  There is also a lot of passing the buck.  “The SNAKE, he made me do it.”  Then Adam, “The WOMAN, she made me do it.”  How typically human.  Instead of admitting we have done wrong, we blame another.  Who is at fault?  Certainly not me!  If my kid is failing at school it must be the school system’s fault.  It certainly isn’t mine or my perfect child.

What we learn in scripture is that SIN pervades everything we do.  What we learn in the Garden is that everyone is at fault.

Today is Mardi Gras.  And I don’t mean to rain on everyone’s parade with talk of sin and falling short of God’s glory.  There is always a time for joy and celebration, for God has been good to us, and there is much to celebrate.

Think with me though how we hide from God and how we pass the buck.

Ultimately, this story in the Garden is a story of grace amidst our being ourselves.  Despite the stupidity and sinful nature of humans, God continues to not give up on us, working grace and mending brokenness.

But much is required of us.  Taking responsibility is a good start.  Knowing that we cannot hide from God, and facing the music is part of being an adult.

Our church budget is way out of wack.  We are staring at a $285,000 deficit.  And there are some who might be tempted – thinking the answer is “slash, slash, slash.”  I am sorry, but God has mighty tasks for us ahead.  Now is not the time to circle the wagons and start shrinking our ministry.  Enough hiding from God and passing the buck.  What God demands is that we step up and step out in faith.

It is time to seriously consider raising your pledge at church.

Generations of saints came before us.  They knew the secret to life was not passing the buck to the next generation, but stepping out in faith and action.

I also think about this little garden in which we now live – our planet.  We have been given dominion over the birds of the air, and the fish of the sea, and over all that God has made.  There are some who would like to hide from God and ignore the problem completely.  There are others who get myopic, thinking that if they can just do their little part and recycle, all the world’s problems will go away.  Between polar ice caps melting and forests disappearing, I am here to tell you, recycling your drink can is not the answer.  Enough hiding from God and passing the buck.  God demands that we step out in faith, and step up in action.

It is time to seriously consider stepping out in faith and action and demanding justice, demanding action from the companies we work for, and the governments who serve us (not the other way around, btw…we don’t serve them…they serve US!)

If God came walking by us right now, I wonder if we would hide from view, ashamed of our own failures.  What does it mean to be good stewards of the earth?  I get out my big green recycle bin and I proudly think, “Well, I am doing my part.”  Am I really?  What more is required?

All of us are called to action, called to take responsibility, called to step up – to be a good gardener during my stay here – in our churches, in our lives.

-Matt

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