The following sermon was preached by Jeremy Loewer — a 10th grader who was confirmed on Sunday, May 1, 2011
Thank you Jeremy!
Finding a Middle Ground
When I asked Peter what God thinks of our past actions as a species, he replied with the question “Does God, Think at all?”
God is a topic that is seldom discussed in today’s modern world, perhaps because of the wide variety of opinions around his presence in our lives. Working with Cindy, Peter, and my fellow confirmands has helped me appreciate how God is present not always in the stereotype of a human being, but in the image of all living things. Perhaps God can not physically help us with our social and environmental challenges, but instead can offer understanding and enlightenment.
It is often unclear what humankind’s purpose is in life.
But if we use a wider perspective, our purpose suddenly becomes clear. We have positioned ourselves at the top of the food chain, so don’t we have the moral obligation to watch over the creatures below us? Instead, we choose to neglect these creatures, by constantly focusing on our personal well being.
Is it in our nature to be so selfish? I certainly don’t believe so. This nature is forced upon us. We feel we don’t have the power, the resources, or even the time to take care of the planet. So it begs the question, what are we good at?
We as a species have proved that we are incredibly dynamic beings. The possibility for further progress has been calling us for generations, because we have discovered that progress is what it means to be human. This quest of success has led us to create a world all our own, which offers more benefits then we could have imagined, but it is not ever perfected.
The quest for this perfection is something everybody seeks, but it is those who follow it that become true activists. Throughout humankind’s quest, we have often disregarded the process, having been too focused on the goal. This kind of behavior leads to a good product, while leaving quite a bit of footprints behind. My generation is enticed to enjoy that product, by being submerged in countless advertisements daily, but is also forced to deal with the footprints.
Because your generation has more political power over mine today. I feel it’s the responsibility of my generation to voice our concerns about these issues, and I believe it is your responsibility to help make them a reality for us. You cannot change what has been already done, but you can start making a change today. My goal in life is to be a part of cleaning up the footprints, because if we choose to ignore them like done previously, then we could be making a big mistake.
It comes down to the decision of personal values. You could choose to give up all of consumer culture, and respect the Earth wholesomely. Except this choice suggests throwing away all homo-sapien ideas to become primitive, which seems infinitely ignorant. After all, we need not go backwards. We must move forward to solve this problem.
On the other hand, you could fully enjoy the benefits of the consumer culture, and completely disregard the planet you call home. You would eventually destroy that planet, degrade the economy, and corrupt the social ties of globalization. The way our world is setup, doesn’t respect our natural resources and creatures; doesn’t respect those who slave away in third world countries for low wages, and most importantly, doesn’t respect YOU as a consumer, because obedience without understanding, is blindness. This option, however, isn’t a prophecy, this is today’s news.
Therefore, we stand at a precipice, and ignoring it would be inhuman. If we can find a middle ground between these two extremes, then we can move forward, without degrading quality of life, or degrading our planet. This middle ground is becoming more defined every day, and if you can be an activist for this change, I would argue that you will lead a better life.
If we don’t start to recognize what goes on to support our very way of existence, then we will continue to be trapped by its limitations, and harmful effects. I believe that God created us to take care of each other; and to take care of the world we live in—and I became confirmed today because I believe God will be there for us in this endeavor. We must start employing the ingenuity we use everyday towards the future, so that the future is something we can look forward to together.