The Minister writes

            Our Care for God’s Creation

 

Dear All,

 

Several weeks ago, Kate Helleur led the opening devotions before our May Church Meeting.  She encouraged us all with a timely and vitally important reminder of our responsibility to care for Creation.  Personally, I’m very thankful for this encouragement and it has moved and inspired me into considering how I, and how we as a Church, might positively respond to this call to Creation care and with Kate’s kind permission, I share her reflection with you.

 

Every blessing,

               :  Andrew's signature

Something that has been in the news a good deal in the last few weeks,  whether because of demonstrations or the publication of various reports, is the threat posed by climate change. The Earth, it seems, is struggling to cope with the impact of the human race and our behaviour. There is the potential for mass extinctions and for parts of the world to become uninhabitable. Worrying changes are already happening - polar ice is melting, storms and droughts are becoming more extreme, and coral reefs are dying. Many animal species are in trouble. As Christians we are very familiar with the idea that we are stewards of the Earth with a responsibility not to selfishly plunder its resources to satisfy our own wants, but to care for it and leave it in a healthy state for the generations that follow us. Christian Aid is actively campaigning on this issue, partly because it is some of the most vulnerable communities in the world whose livelihoods, their lives even, are most at risk. But perhaps even we, possibly just through ignorance, don’t always realise the effects of our actions.

Last week I bought a very inexpensive bunch of flowers at Sainsbury’s. The chatty man at the checkout was telling me that the British asparagus had just arrived, that the asparagus in the store up until now had been flown in from Peru. We agreed this was shocking - surely people could wait a little longer for their asparagus. This conversation led me, once I was home, to have a look at where my flowers had come from. I was horrified – they had come, presumably on a plane, from Columbia. I simply hadn’t thought to look. The mere £3 I had paid for them certainly wouldn’t have compensated for the environmental impact of this totally unnecessary flight - and that’s not to even start on the question of what the Columbian grower might have been paid for his produce.

I‘d like to encourage you to take a moment to read Psalm 104, which praises God for his creation and the ecosystems which bind it all together. God’s creation has given us a beautiful world, but our need to commit to look after it better has never been more urgent. As the human race we have become careless, thoughtless, greedy. Do we have a right to have whatever we want whenever we want it, to travel wherever we want? Of course, as one small congregation of God’s people we may feel there is not much we can do - this needs concerted, global action. But it is many small and individual actions that add up to our overall impact, for good or ill, and we all need to take responsibility.

Let us pray:

Creator God, we praise you and thank you for this world, for its beauty, the huge variety of life and for our enjoyment of the natural world. Forgive us when we have taken it for granted and thoughtlessly misused it. Guide us in all the choices we make and lead us in your ways.

For the sake of your kingdom, Amen.