This is the ninth installation in a sermon series on the five marks of mission of the worldwide Anglican Communion. The five marks of mission are: to proclaim the Good News of the Kingdom; to teach, baptize, and nurture new believers; to respond to human need by loving service; to seek to transform unjust structures of society; and finally this evening, the first of two sermons on the fifth mark of mission: to strive to safeguard the integrity of creation and sustain and renew the life of the earth.
There are any number of eloquent theological statements about our Christian responsibility to care for the earth and its creatures. Doubtless, one of the most eloquent and compelling is the recent encyclical letter of His Holiness, Pope Francis, Laudato ‘si. If you haven’t read I highly commend it to you. Not only is it eloquent but it’s also courageous. Pope Francis does not shrink or mince words in pointing out the culpability of capitalist society and its exploitation of the environment resulting in devastating consequences for many powerless and exploited poor people.