“Missed it by that much” is a line made famous by Maxwell Smart, the clueless secret agent on the 60s TV show, “Get Smart.” When Max uttered the line, holding up thumb and forefinger to demonstrate, he was invariably describing some goof-up he made in trying to pull off a super-spy move.
“Missed it by that much” is what I said when I read this morning that yesterday, Sunday, October 5, was the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi. Francis was the first Christian environmentalist – the patron saint of ecology. Some churches honor him and celebrate creation on that day. Most don’t.
When it comes to “Creation Care,” a lot of Christians have decided to “sit this one out.” In fact, 77% of evangelical pastors say they have “rarely or never” preached on the environment.
I’m barely in the “rarely” camp – really just a degree above “never.” I preached on the environment yesterday. I can remember only one other time in 35 years of preaching that my topic was “Creation Care.” I guess it’s no surprise that I had no knowledge of yesterday being the Feast of St. Francis. I’m new at this environmental business. Here’s what I said Sunday:
“God is green.”
“If we love God we’ll love what God loves and God really loves His creation.”
“What God made is His, not ours and we mess things up when we get that mixed up.”
“A Left-Behind Theology has resulted in many Christians taking an ant-environmental position.” “Hey, the earth is going to be destroyed anyway, so why worry about the earth? Why worry about the future of an earth that has no future?”
Is it possible that the “Left-Behind” theology is wrong and needs to be left-behind?
Francis took Mark 16:15 literally – “ preach the good news to all creation.” He knew it wasn’t just people who were waiting in anticipation for creation to be liberated from sin, but all of creation (Romans 8:22). God, Francis believed, is interested in saving all of creation. I do too.
“Missed it by that much.”
I missed an opportunity to teach people at yesterday’s services about one of the most revolutionary Christians in history – St Francis of Assisi.
I missed an opportunity to inspire people with Francis’ story.
I’ve missed so much of what the Bible teaches of God’s love for creation and his plan to restore all things.
I hope to not miss out on opportunities of partnering with God in His work of restoring the world.