Worship Time
10:00 AM
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East Harwich, MA 02645
Tel: 508-432-3734

Ezekiel 34:17-19  New Revised Standard Version

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?

Romans 8:18-25  New Revised Standard Version

18 I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory about to be revealed to us. 19 For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the children of God; 20 for the creation was subjected to futility, not of its own will but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope 21 that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to decay and will obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. 22 We know that the whole creation has been groaning in labor pains until now; 23 and not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly while we wait for adoption, the redemption of our bodies. 24 For in[a] hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes[b] for what is seen? 25 But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.

Revelation 21:1-5 New Revised Standard Version

The New Heaven and the New Earth

21 Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying,

“See, the home[a] of God is among mortals.
He will dwell[b] with them;
they will be his peoples,[c]
and God himself will be with them;[d]
he will wipe every tear from their eyes.
Death will be no more;
mourning and crying and pain will be no more,
for the first things have passed away.”

And the one who was seated on the throne said, “See, I am making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this, for these words are trustworthy and true.”

Acts 4:5-12

English Standard Version

On the next day their rulers and elders and scribes gathered together in Jerusalem, with Annas the high priest and Caiaphas and John and Alexander, and all who were of the high-priestly family. And when they had set them in the midst, they inquired, “By what power or by what name did you do this?” Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, “Rulers of the people and elders, if we are being examined today concerning a good deed done to a crippled man, by what means this man has been healed, 10 let it be known to all of you and to all the people of Israel that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead—by him this man is standing before you well. 11 This Jesus[a] is the stone that was rejected by you, the builders, which has become the cornerstone.[b] 12 And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men[c] by which we must be saved.”

Building Blocks
April 25, 2021
The  Rev Dr Dianne ES Carpenter
4th Sunday of Easter


How do building blocks help a child’s development?

“Playing with blocks help children develop their vocabularies, improves math skills, and even teaches them about gravity, balance, and geometry. … Building is all about size, shape, weight, leverage, and balance, and as your child works this out, their building and block play will become more and more complex.

There are many kinds of blocks – Legos, Lincoln Logs, square alphabet blocks, wood, plastic, cloth… When JP was young I was determined that his tumbled and jumbled blocks were back in order by the morning even though they were in disarray each night……

I have selected several passages for the recognition of Earth Day and the agenda of protecting our environment.  In fact much of the service is pointed in that direction.  However on this 4th Sunday after Easter the passage from Acts is part of the lectionary for the day.  In it Paul uses the familiar phrase that Jesus is the very cornerstone of our understanding of God and the right relationship with God. 

A cornerstone is the foundation upon which the entire building is established.  And in our faith walk we understand Jesus to be the cornerstone in so many ways.  We look to the teachings of Jesus for guidance.  We look to the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross to understand how seriously God wishes to be in relationship with us individually and as a human race.  We see Jesus punished by a humanity that has lost it’s sense of Peace with Justice and yet Jesus triumphs over death.  We learn that God has made an “investment” in God’s creation which is fundamental to our existence.

And so we glean from Jesus’ teachings that Justice and Right relationships are fundamental to God’s vision of society.  People need to be treated with respect and mercy in order that they might be reconciled to one another – Jesus asks that people go the extra mile in this agenda of reconciliation.

In the opening words of John’s Gospel we hear:

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has come into being 4 in him was life, and the life was the light of all people. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.

The opening of John’s Gospel offers the image of the eternal Christ who is the Word that was spoken – the Word though whom all things were created and in whom is life and the life is the light for humanity.

If Jesus was the Word at the Creation – the command “Let there be… and there was…” Jesus has a far more comprehensive understanding of the “building Blocks” called Reconciliation, Mercy and Justice than simply Human society.  What is Life?  Certainly life is the botanical as well as the biological… It is both animals and plants in a delicate balance with humanity which is both the Gardener and the Gaurdian.  The entire eco system in balance  – food, water, sunlight and rest or Sabbath in a well regulated pattern applies to the Earth, the animals and the plants and the atmosphere that surrounds us as well as to Humanity.

Upon the cornerstone which is Christ must be built a relationship between humanity and the physical world.  Today many Building blocks are tottering and threatening to fall.  The word which embodies the relationship of humanity to creation that has existed for too long is Domination.  The idea that God wants humanity to dominate the created world has led to reckless exploitation of natural resources and the loss of life: both human and animal.

In the letter of Paul to the Roman church Paul writes that all creation waits eagerly for the fulfillment of God’s plans, which will include creation being set free from decay.   Christ Jesus did not come just to liberate human beings from the wages of sin but to liberate creation from the sins we perpetuate on our environment.

Some might say “sins” against the environment is strong language, however, abuse of the environment is certainly a sin against the creator.  Patterns of domination and abuse are at the very least short sighted.   We guard our possessions in order to have “enough” for our life time and we have instruments to perpetuate our wealth beyond our life time but can we extend our vision to the distant generations and broaden our vision to provide better ways to redistribute the resources that we have as a race?

Like children of a generous and gracious parent we live in a house with many delights.  Many creative learning toys.  However God asks in the words of the Ezekiel passage:

17 As for you, my flock, ….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?

And so we must be stewards {not consumers} of this handiwork of God….  What children learn with building blocks : Building is all about size, shape, weight, leverage, and balance:  We have to apply to our eco system. So that we will be co-builders with the One who was at the beginning and who is the cornerstone of life.

1 Church St, Harwich, MA 02645
508 432-3734