A Spaceship

A SPACESHIP                                                               CHILMARK COMMUNITY CHURCH                                     REV. ARMEN HANJIAN  ISAIAH 24:1-6                                                           APRIL 30, 2017

Would you like to take a trip in a spaceship?  I’ll bet it would be exciting.  They say when you move away from something you can see it better.  That’s true of a mountain; it’s probably true of our earth as well.

So, how about it?  Let’s blast off.  Wait.  Let’s make sure we have enough of what we need for our trip: food, water, fuel, oxygen.  Ok. 10,9,8,7,6,5,4,3,2,1,0.  Blast off! Wow, we are up here already.  Sure is beautiful.  A thousand questions go thru the mind.  Whose earth is it?  Why is it there? Will it go on spinning for ever and ever?

Where do we get our answers from?  Some I can figure out.  I know the earth doesn’t belong to any one person or nation.  Some answers, like why is the earth here, I’ll have to take the word of those who studied that question, at least until I have had the chance to think it thru again and again.  And I guess some questions, like when will it stop spinning, I may never get answered.

Just look at that turning earth.  My parents, my minister and the Bible all have said, “The earth is the Lord’s…” It belongs to God.  So I guess the first earth day was God’s idea.  I wonder how God did it?  God probably said, I’ll make me an earth and I’ll put people there to make me a family.  I’ll love them and provide for their needs and I’ll wait and see if they will love me and if they will love the others who are part of my great family. If this earth thing is an experiment, it sure is a tremendous one.  Do you suppose God is waiting to see if the people down there will be thankful or forgetful, good caretakers or thoughtless?

Hey, we have been flying thru space for a while now just lost in  thought about that round ball in space we call earth.  We better check our gauges. We have to get back to earth before our supply of food and water, fuel and oxygen run out.  Back in  1970, the Apollo 13 spaceship almost didn’t make it back safely.

It may be hard for some of you youngsters to understand, but try.  Take a look out thru your window at that other spaceship  out there; you say you don’t see another spaceship?  The other spaceship I’m talking about is the earth.  You see when you leave the earth and pass thru the clouds and the layers of air around the earth, there is no more water, no more oxygen, no more food.  Just as our imaginary spaceship has a limited supply of life supporting items, the same is true with spaceship earth.

The problems our earth faces are many.  Unless we take care of these two I am going to mention, we will have the same problem as the Apollo 13 astronauts: no place to go to find breathable air and no place to go to find food and drinkable water.

Problem #1, the number of people on earth is growing and of the 7 1/2 billion people here more the 1 billion will being going to bed hungry tonight.  Problem #2, the air, water and even the food is slowly being poisoned.  No one is doing it on purpose, but a lot of us are doing it – with chemicals and car exhausts for example.

It seems like there is an endless supply of land on which to grow food.  What good is good soil in the desserts of the world if there is no rain there?  What good in moisture at the North and South poles if the temperature is too cold? The many mountains are too up and down.  Only about 7or 8% of the 100% of land surface of the earth is useable for food.  As you can see there on the upper half of planet earth, our country has many great resources.  We  only make up 5 1/2% of all the people of the world, but we use over 33% of the world’s resources that are used each year.  I just can’t help thinking about what Jesus said, to whom much has been given, much shall be required.

The idea of people being put in charge of God’s world and all that is on it, was most important to Jesus – we see that in so many of Jesus lessons.  When we use the word stewardship we mean taking care of something for someone else.

Another word we hear about is the word ecology – it is used to describe our relationship with everything about us: the seas, the sky, the wildlife, everything. The word ecology comes from the Greek word, “oikos,” which means house..  So you see, the earth is God’s house and we are God’s guests.

No human pain or problem can be ignored by the followers of Jesus.  That is why we are so concerned with what is happening with our earth, ugh, God’s earth.  We care not because things might look more and more messy, but because people can be hurt.

The church, that is, you and I, acts just like the religious leaders in the parable of the good Samaritan that passed by the man in need if we go our merry way without acting to help with these fast-growing problem.  We must interrupt our fun sometimes if we are to be followers of Jesus.

Well, it’s time to change our orbit to prepare for our reentry.  Before we get back down to earth, let us be certain we have in mind some things we can do to make sure we don’t hide from fulfilling the needs of God’s earth and caring for God’s children.

Number 1, let us keep in mind that both church leaders and scientific leaders have told us have we have a growing problem, a crisis.  I do believe God is supporting those who care about our problems, but nowhere do I read that we can do as we please because God’s “got the whole world in his hands.”

Number 2, By your own action you can make a difference, you can help.  Don’t do anything that would spoil God’s good creation.  As the comic strip character Pogo says, “we have met the enemy and they are us.”  Act by yourself and with others, clean up where you can.  Set the example.  I would say, most people have become Christians not from hearing about it so much as from seeing in people, by their Christ-like lives, caring and meeting needs by their actions.

Number 3,  work in cooperation with others, because if we depend on individuals by themselves to solve the earth’s problems, we are lost.  We have tried that way and today people are hurting and in pain and hunger more than ever.  If caring people don’t band together to meet the earth’s needs, selfishness of the non-caring people will overwhelm us!  That is the drama that is going on now on this planet.

Did you feel that?  We are beginning our reentry.  As we float down to earth I can’t help thinking God has provided enough for the people down there, but the problem we face is something like this.  There are 2 cupcakes which are enough to feed 5 people, but who wants to share, not to mention how are you going to cut them so everyone will be happy?

You know something, I think God planned it that way.  We need to care and think about others in order to get along, to survive.

The only way we can care enough to do our very best, anything else will not solve our problems, is by giving our lives to Jesus Christ.  He can do more with them than we can.

Splashdown – in the ocean.  We have been picked up by those who have worked with us.  Now let us see just how Jesus Christ will use us to help keep spaceship earth in good condition for people, for all the years to come.

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