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LUKE 14: 25-33

Content: To talk about choices and the impact on our lives. To consider discipleship and the words ‘Choose Life.’ What do these mean to us today in the 21st century? If we are serious to follow Jesus and walk in God’s ways we need to care for the earth. How do we best do this? How can we measure our carbon footprint and then make changes? To see all we have as a gift from God. What do we want the world to be like for the next generation.

Intention: Challenge ourselves to think of what it means to be a disciple in relation to creation. To make a change in our lives.

Outcome: Discipleship to me means… (to finish)

To make a change to show to others that we care for God’s creation.

What kind of world do we want to leave to those who come after us?

It seems these days that life is full of choices. We are offered more choices over an ever-wider range of matters. To choose one thing is to choose against others. We have learnt this since childhood: to choose a best friend means that other friends are not considered best. To choose a partner means the not–choice of other partners. To choose a path, a career, a priority, a place to live, a pathway out of danger, a change — all of these changes introduce conflict: conflict within ourselves; conflict with those around us; conflict with those who struggle to understand our choices. Choices are everywhere.

As a teenager, one choice which I made was to follow the pop group Wham. Especially the lead singer George Michael. The excitement when the hit single, wake me up before you go go came out, was immense. I remember watching George dance around the stage wearing a T-shirt with the words Choose life clearly printed on the front. The choice was made very quickly – I had to have one of those t-shirts, and here it is! A t-shirt with an ever-increasingly relevant message on the front – CHOOSE LIFE!

Our lives, and those of future generations are constantly being shaped by the choices we make. Choices which will have a long-lasting impact on us, and also on creation.

If we all CHOOSE LIFE, then one choice we need to make is to care for the Earth. Caring by looking at ourselves and our lifestyles. Looking at the impact our choices have on those around us and on the earth.

So, let us ask ourselves,

What kind of world do we want to leave to those who come after us?

The notion of choice in the Bible, which is set out in Deuteronomy, states that there is only one rational choice to be made. To walk in God’s ways. To think about the relationship between people and the natural elements of the environment. And to consider how they impact upon one another.

Jesus sets out the same choice. To walk in God’s ways.

Jesus doesn’t make it easy for us to make this choice. He says some things which are very uncomfortable to hear. And, today is no exception.  He tells us the demands which becoming a disciple will have upon your life. You need to be prepared to hate, to take up your cross and sell all your possessions.  

What a choice to be a disciple or not?

What is clear is that discipleship calls for us to choose a different path to take.

To walk in God’s ways.

A path which will reshape our identity.

A way of being.

A way of living.

And a way of doing things differently.

Choosing life.

The choices we make, now, will determine the world which we leave to those who come after us.

So, where do we start?

Dave Bookless, a Rocha UK founder says,

‘We all need to make a complete, radical and honest audit of our lifestyles, their impact on the poor and on the planet, and ask God to pinpoint where we should start making changes. Putting our faith into action as we become aware of issues.’

A good look at our lifestyles will bring about challenges for all of us.

As we think about…

Our carbon footprint – the way we live and the lifestyle choices we make.

  • household bills,

  • food and waste,

  • Looking at whether our shopping is ethical

  • leisure activities

  • and holidays

From this we can work out if we are;

‘A low Carbon Lucy’

or a Carbon-Hungry Harry’ –

or are you somewhere in between!

I wonder from thinking of these things is there something we can change?

It isn’t easy though because we live in a world where globalisation and consumerism affect every area of our lives.

We live in a culture where the natural desire is to want more.

We are bombarded with adverts persuading us to buy.

Adverts which portray a service or goods as something everyone else owns or is buying.

Globalisation and consumerism affect our shopping habits.

It shapes our personal lives;

In the ways we relate to each other.

And how we view the world.

Globalisation and consumerism affect the lives of the global poor, and the health of the planet.

So, what does it mean for us to be a follower of Jesus, in this culture, in the 21st century?

What should discipleship look like for us in this context?

We are called to not just physically follow Jesus but to also change our lifestyle and our view of the world.

We need to ask ourselves; - have we been transformed by the culture of today which worships consumerism?

We all need a starting point. To solve all the environments problems is huge.

So, let’s take one thing which really pulls at your heart strings.

We see on the news the challenges. The recent destruction from the hurricane in the Bahamas. The Amazon rainforests on fires. The melting ice caps, more frequent floods, droughts. Animals and birds dying out due to our neglect and greed.

We hear and read about new research; about new statistics, impacts upon the earth.

As disciples, or green disciples, we need to be seen working at saving the planet. Taking care of each other, the world, the animals of the earth.

It is as we do these things, that we are expressing our love to God.

So, next time you go to drive your car, could you walk or cycle?

Think about the things you buy – are they ethical?

Your use of plastic – water bottles, carrier bags.

Consider whether your actions are contributing to the pollution of the planet?

Most importantly, as green disciples, we need to be ready to change.

Change to what we want to see,

and along the way inspire others to do the same.

Helping them to want to CHOOSE LIFE.

To care for all creation.

Jesus showed us how we should behave, the cost of discipleship. And he showed us how to encourage others to follow him.

Are we brave enough to make changes to our lifestyle habits?

To choose against others.

So, let’s ask ourselves

What kind of world do we want to leave to those who come after us?

Choose life, says the slogan on the T-shirt.

Choose a life which works for the good of all creation.

Jesus said to follow him means carrying the cross and giving up all possessions.

A new way of living lightly with material possessions. Living lightly so that our ways do not damage the flourishing of creation.

Living lightly to recognise that all that we have is God’s gift to be shared with others.

Now is the time to make that choice. To make it our way of being, living and doing.

Are we going to CHOOSE LIFE?

“Apprehend God in all things,

For God is in all things.”

Writes Meister Eckhart, a German theologian.

What kind of world do we want to leave to those who come after us?


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