REVEREND TUCK SPEAKS HIS HEART OUT
Phoebe thought for a moment about Sammy’s words: ‘Believe me, you’ll have plenty to do.’ I wonder what he means?
“Well, maybe I’ll stop by the church and check it out,” she told Sammy. “And it’s great to see you! I’ll be back.” Phoebe walked up the sidewalk just in time to see a stream of people spill out of the wide double doors of the church. Many voices were laughing and cursing. Phoebe caught a few words.
“He’s a fool,” remarked a short, pudgy man in a dark suit. “So much for his proposal!” He ripped a sheet of paper and let it drift to the sidewalk.
“Him and a few others,” added a tall thin man. “They must be defeated! Do you hear me? Defeated! It’s time to take their pieces off the board.”
The two men walked off together. Phoebe pocketed the torn sheet of paper. With great curiosity she speed-limped across the street to the church door.
At that moment Tuck was preaching in a loud, clear voice: “This is the good news! God loves the world! And we are all called upon to help save the world in all its glory, with all its wealth of life and strange beauty. Every kind of life is precious, every species that grows or swims or flies or runs on the earth has a place in God’s eyes. We – even you and I – those of us present here today -- are called upon to be the faithful stewards of life on earth, even as Noah was called upon to save every type of living creature from the flood. Recall that God established his covenant with Noah, and promised life not only to humans, but also to the descendants of every living thing. Yes, these living things are there for us, to nourish our legitimate needs, but we are also there for them, to insure life for their descendants as long as time shall last.
“And it must be said that it is a sin to wipe out thousands of species of plants and animals every month the way we do. It has become an unspeakable tragedy, a sin for which we all bear responsibility. It is a sin that is growing and growing, and in the end, if we do not change, the payment will be ourselves and our children, and our children’s children. A terrible nightmare of loss will become our future. I know the things that God would have us do are hard for us, but nonetheless… but nonetheless…”
Tuck’s voice cut through the air like an explosion: “WE MUST CHANGE! WE MUST CHANGE! Look at the stakes! My dear brothers and sisters, look at the stakes! God is raising them with every year that passes. Soon the stakes will include everything. That’s right. Soon we will play this game for everything we know and hold dear.”
Phoebe felt her heart thumping loudly inside her. An eerie feeling set upon her, as the voice from her dream rang through her head: Everything is at stake! Everything!
Tuck’s voice became softer, and now he spoke in a low, pleading tone. “Remember: God loves the world. Let us be his stewards on earth. Like Noah, let us establish our covenant with God to protect the future of our wonderful and precious and glorious world.” Tuck bowed his head.
“Let us pray. Heavenly Father, give us the strength and understanding to change our ways, and to do what is needed to nourish the wealth of life on earth, and to share our resources with a spirit of sacrifice by those who have in abundance. One human alone does not make a life. The entire community of humans, and of all species, make the life that God has made. Amen.”
Reverend Tuck stayed silent with his head bowed. The church was perfectly still as the moments crept by. Finally he raised his eyes and looked at the congregation, and announced the final hymn.
Phoebe slid quietly out of the pew and out the door into the glaring sunlight.
Whoa! That really cuts deep! But how on earth can we tackle such a huge problem? It includes everything.